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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Blue Jackets Play Inspires Hope for the Future

The Columbus Blue Jackets have two games remaining on their 2015 schedule.  While they were eliminated from playoff contention over a week ago, many people would say their season has been a failure.

Yet there are many reasons that Blue Jackets have been anything but a failure this year. For starters, the team will post its second consecutive season of 40 or more wins, and do so having lost more players to injury than any other team in the NHL. In addition, even if Columbus loses their final two, the worst they can finish is 40-37-5. This means they will finish the season above .500 for the third consecutive year, another franchise first.

Individual performances that should give fans reasons to be excited for the future include winger Nick Foligno, who scored 30 goals for the first time in his career this season. Foligno would also post the first hat trick of his career in a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this season.

Also notching hat tricks (3 goals in the same game) for the Blue Jackets this season were Scott Hartnell and Cam Atkinson in victories over the Ducks and the Blackhawks, respectively.

The Blue Jackets are also 5th in the league on the power play, something that should carry over into the 2015-2016 season. With a little luck when it comes to player health next year, Columbus could be a top 5 team in the Eastern conference.

So while in previous years a CBJ finish outside the playoffs would be cause for concern, this year's team is clearly different. Look out NHL, here come the Jackets.

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