directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: The playoff picture

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

The playoff picture

Currently the Jackets are 11th in the Western Conference just 3 points out of the playoffs. That despite the horrid 3 game losing streak after the break. Unfortunately for the Jackets many teams above and below them in the standings have multiple games at hand on them.

Last year it took 96 points for the 8th place team to reach the playoffs, the Jackets who sit at 56 points after 54 games, would have to win 20 of their remaining 28 games to hit that mark.

Heck even with the parity in the West I suspsect it will take about 92 points to get in. That would mean winning 18 of their next 28.

I think what hurts the most in this 3 game slump are that two of these games were at home and knowing our road record...well lets just say I'm not optomstic. They are buy no means out of it but they aren't doing themselves any favors at this point.

Still though this team has played above expectations and will finish with the best record in history taking some big leaps forward - playoffs or no playoffs.

Coming into the season the Jackets were a wreck defensively, in goal and on offense.

Now they are just a wreck on offense thanks to some big time coaching by Hitch and his staff and some key but modest acquisitions by Howson in the offseason. Those are two pieces of the puzzle that have been improved in a big way and are part of that "foundation" that has always been lacking in this organization.

This offseason I fully expect the offensive puzzle to be greatly improved. Mind you alot of offense is created defensively so I think the improvements start there.

The Jackets will stay in the race and competitive but I expect some major moves at the deadline in preparation for us finally having a legit playoff team next year as I just don't think we've got the horses to remain in the race this season but stranger things have happened.



Anonymous said...

It is tough to stomach the home losses without a doubt. We have so much trouble winning on the road that every two points that we can get at home feels like a necessity (in fact, they are nearly mandatory at this point). The last three games have been very disappointing to say the least possibly moreso because we are 'right there' points-wise. I guess it is the bittersweet of competing.

Tom said...

Howson and Hitch have done nothing to shake my confidence in them.

They say in pro football that it takes 3 years to turn around a franchise. I'll apply the same to this team, considering the deadweight in the salaries, draft choices (well, some of 'em), etc. to clear. If that's the case, taking the first year and going from a BAD team to a competitive team isn't all bad. Year 2 is playoff-mandatory.

Let's give the professionals time to work their magic. As disappointing as this stretch has been, I'll remind anyone who listens to look at the forest for the trees.

We'll get there, now that we have a real front office and a real coach.

(BTW, did you see that the Jackets are surveying former season ticket holders and seeing what it'll take to get 'em back? That's the sign of a well-run business. I think the adults are in charge now.)

GREAT blog. Keep it up!

-LTL said...

Great stuff anonymous and Tom!

..and thanks for the kind words on the blog - glad someone is reading it ;)