What is the deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets?
The team finished six games below .500 and twenty points out of a playoff spot last season. Now, the Blue Jackets are one win away from tying an NHL record of 17 consecutive wins.
There is an obvious reason for the Jackets’ success. They are stingy. The Blue Jackets have allowed just 74 goals in 36 games this season. In comparison, the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins have allowed 107 goals in 38 games. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky leads the NHL with 25 wins in 32 starts this season.
The-not-so-obvious reason may be the market. Columbus doesn’t jump off the page as a hockey hotbed and that may suit coach John Tortarella just fine. We all remember what a challenge it was for him to deal with the media in New York and in Vancouver. Now Tortarella is in Columbus, where the Ohio State Buckeyes rule.
Playing second fiddle may be one reason why the Columbus Blue Jackets are first overall.