2014-15 Schedule Preview: February

Thursday, 08.14.2014 / 7:00 AM
Brad Friedman  - BlueJackets.com

Number of games: 13 (Seven home, six away against 11 opponents)

Approximate number of miles to be covered: 5,745

2013-14 record of opponents: 446-342-114

Average point total: 91

2013-14 Columbus record vs. opponents: 18-15-3

2013-14 season sweeps: One (2-0 vs. Arizona)

Best 2013-14 records: St. Louis (52-23-7), Pittsburgh (51-24-7)

Worst 2013-14 records: Buffalo (21-51-10), New York Islanders (34-37-11)

Number of playoff teams: Six

2014 Columbus record in February: 2-2-1 (Olympic break)

Most successful February in franchise history: 2009 (7-4-1)

Key home matchups: Feb. 6 vs. St. Louis, Feb. 9 vs. Los Angeles (Stanley Cup champions), Feb. 13 vs. Philadelphia (divisional matchup), Feb. 26 vs. Montreal (Eastern Conference runners-up).

Key road matchups: Feb. 17 vs. Philadelphia (divisional matchup), Feb. 19 vs. Pittsburgh (game on NBC Sports Network), Feb. 22 vs. New York Rangers (Eastern Conference champions)

What it all means: On paper, the month of February could be a toss-up for the Blue Jackets. Last season, Columbus found success against clubs like Philadelphia, New Jersey and the New York Islanders – a combined 9-3-0 record against the three -- while the Jackets struggled against the likes of Pittsburgh, Ottawa and St. Louis, posting a cumulative record of 1-8-1 against those clubs. In every other series, besides sweeping Arizona, the series was either tied or won or lost by one game.

The month will consist of four teams that tallied over 100 points last season, two clubs in the 90-99 point range and five clubs below the 89-point threshold. In the 36 regular season games Columbus played against these opponents, the Jackets posted a goal differential of +2, outscoring six opponents while being outscored by the other five. Six of the goal differentials varied by no more than two.

Translation: February may be one of the most balanced, competitive months on the Blue Jackets' schedule.

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