Columbus Blue Jackets History
Hockey had been a big deal in Columbus, Ohio even prior to the formation of the Blue
Jackets. From 1976-1978 the Columbus Barons were part of the NHL and after that the ECHL team the Columbus Chill represented
the city from 1991 through 1999. While playing, the Chill had an 83 game sell out streak which proved to the NHL and the community
that Columbus was suitable for an expansion NHL franchise. After forming as an expansion team in 2000, the Columbus Blue Jackets
have established themselves as a prominent draw in the Columbus, Ohio area, and you'll understand why if you get out to a
big game loaded with playoff-level intensity. The Jackets reached the playoffs for the first time in 2008-09 and continue
to be one of the most exciting teams in the league. The Blue Jackets fell just short of the playoffs last season, losing a
tie breaker for the final spot to the Minnesota Wild who had more non-shootout wins. This year the Blue Jackets have moved
to the Metropolitan Division after the NHL's realignment and have all new foes to compete with for a berth in the playoffs.
About the Team
The Columbus Blue Jackets currently sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division and although
it appears unlikely that they can catch the Pittsburgh Penguins who sit atop the division, they are in a heated battle with
the Philadelphia Flyers, the Washington Capitals, the New York Rangers, and the New Jersey Devils to see who will finish second
in the division. All season the Blue Jackets have had a potent offense led by leading pointsman and goal scorer Ryan Johansen
along with right winger Corey Tropp who leads the team on plus/minus. The defense has been solid, especially with the play
of James Wisniewski who has led the team in assists. If the Blue Jackets finish strong they could pass up the Rangers for
fourth place in the division while staving off the teams behind them, giving them the all-important home ice advantage in
the first few rounds of the playoffs.
Hockey fans in general are some of the most passionate
sports fans around, but nothing quite matches the fanaticism surrounding the NHL playoffs and fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets
are some of the most dedicated and vociferous fans in the entire NHL. On game day at Nationwide Arena the fans file in and
take their seats and that is when the cheering and chanting begins. As the clock winds down closer and closer to the dropping
of the puck the crowd works itself into a frenzy. Finally both teams are ready for face off and the excitement really begins.
Thunderous, bone rattling hits, incredible displays of speed and agility, powerful slapshots, and tremendous saves set the
arena on fire for the following three periods of world class college hockey. By the time the final buzzer sounds your voice
is hoarse and your palms are stinging from clapping and giving high fives and you will already be planning a return trip.
Everything is ratcheted up a notch during the NHL playoffs and the further teams advance the more intense the competition
becomes. If you thought regular season NHL games were exciting, just wait until you experience an NHL playoff game live and
NHL Eastern Conference Metropolitan Division
The Metropolitan Division is comprised of eight
teams: the Carolina Hurricanes, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the New Jersey Devils, the New York Islanders, the New York Rangers,
the Philadelphia Flyers, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Washington Capitals. Many of the teams in the division are among
the top franchises in the history of the NHL and four of the eight teams are located in either New York City area or in Pennsylvania.
The 2013-2014 season is the first for the Metropolitan Division which was formed due to the realignment of the NHL. The majority
of the teams came to the Metropolitan Division from the Atlantic Division, including the New Jersey Devils, the New York Islanders,
the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Meanwhile the Washington Capitals and the Carolina
Hurricanes came from the Southeast Division and the Columbus Blue Jackets joined from the Central Division. It is home to
some of the biggest rivalries in the league including that between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals and
the one between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders. The Metropolitan Division is currently the only division
in the NHL without a Canadian Team.
The term Blue Jackets is a reference to the contributions Ohio
made representing the Union in the Civil War, after Lincoln had asked states to raise ten volunteer regiments for the war,
Ohio more than doubled the request, offering 23. Many of the Union's most recognizable names also came from Ohio including
Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman.