Features

It Starts with One

The Blue Jackets aren't looking at the playoff bar in terms of points; their focus is to win each game and stay in the moment.

Friday, 03.11.2011 / 3:08 PM / Features
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

Beginning tonight against Los Angeles, the majority of the Blue Jackets' remaining 16 games will be against teams either holding a current playoff spot or those competing for one.

"I've seen (a long winning streak) done in this league before. We have plenty of opportunities remaining to move forward." - Head Coach Scott Arniel

The March and April portions of the National Hockey League schedule are traditionally division and conference-heavy, meaning Columbus and other clubs with playoff aspirations will need to get the best of division rivals and teams in desperate situations.

Some have already counted them out of the playoff chase and deemed their eight-point deficit nearly insurmountable, but head coach Scott Arniel has stuck to his segmented schedule game plan and has kept his players in the present.

And though the Blue Jackets are 0-3-3 in the past six games, Arniel said the emphasis is first on breaking the losing skid and starting a positive run.

"We cannot dwell on the past," Arniel said. "As much as people want to speculate and form the opinion that we're done, we still have 16 games to play.

"I've seen (a long winning streak) done in this league before. We have plenty of opportunities remaining to move forward."

The Kings are one of those opportunities. They currently sit in eighth place in the Western Conference with 79 points and have played one more game than the Blue Jackets.

Known for playing a tight-checking style and getting solid goaltending from Jonathan Quick, the Kings and coach Terry Murray find themselves in a position familiar to six others behind them: win as often as possible.

"(Los Angeles) has a lot of guys that are skilled and very good on the forecheck," Arniel said. "They use their size to get to the net and play a real good team game defensively.

"They have a good veteran group, a good mix of size and skill. We have to play our game and make sure we come ready to do so."

With another game in Raleigh against the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night, Columbus will have a chance to pick up two more valuable points against an Eastern Conference opponent. Counting the game against the Hurricanes, the Blue Jackets will have six games left against East teams.

The Blue Jackets, if things go right, could conceivably find themselves within four points of eighth place with a good weekend.

But as they say: first thing first.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Johansen 82 33 30 3 63
J. Wisniewski 75 7 44 0 51
B. Dubinsky 76 16 34 5 50
C. Atkinson 79 21 19 -4 40
A. Anisimov 81 22 17 -2 39
N. Foligno 70 18 21 5 39
R. Umberger 74 18 16 -3 34
M. Letestu 82 12 22 1 34
J. Johnson 82 5 28 -7 33
B. Jenner 72 16 13 6 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 32 20 5 .923 2.38
C. McElhinney 10 11 1 .909 2.70
 
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