As if expecations for the Columbus Blue Jackets weren't enough at the end of last season, the way the team started their 2013-2014 campaign certainly had to be disappointing. After just missing out on the NHL playoffs to then division rival Detroit by the narrowest of margins, many people believed that not only was this the year Columbus would return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a vengeance.
Yet, while the Jackets limped their way to a 2-5 record to open the season, the boo birds were out in full force once again ready to point their collective fingers, first at goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (even if it wasn't necessarily deserved) and then at head coach Todd Richards. How could a team that finished last season by winning eight of their last nine games start out so poorly?
But it appears that after last night's 4-1 win(their second straight, bringing their record to 4-5), the Jackets may have regained some of the swagger they had at the end of last season. Marian Gaborik, having scored his fourth goal already last night, appears to be the scorer that fans had hoped Rick Nash would turn into. Brandon Dubinsky proved that not only can he score when called upon to do so, but that he doesn't take crap from anyone. (His takedown in the 3rd period of Devils defender Anton Volchenkov was absolutely bad-ass.) And it is definitely nice for the CBJ to have their enforcer, Jared Boll, back on the ice as well.
The biggest takeaway from last night's game, however, is that even while up 3-1 in the 3rd period, the Jackets weren't content to sit on the lead. They took it to New Jersey until the final horn. Which is why I believe they might have rediscovered their swag.