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Analyzing over/unders to project the playoffs: How far do the Columbus Blue Jackets stand to fall?

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Oddsmakers are releasing their over/unders for this coming season. Things are not pretty from a Columbus Blue Jackets playoff perspective.

Boston Bruins v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Six Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Columbus Blue Jackets lost a lot in free agency this summer you might have heard something about that once. Or twice.

A week.

Since the playoffs ended.

Now, three-plus weeks after the fervor of free agency has mostly calmed and fed into the doldrums of the summer, oddsmakers are beginning to release their projections for the season. With the Jackets losing Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin, and Matt Duchene, the Jackets were bound to lose some ground to their fellow Eastern Conference foes. But just how far did they fall? Let’s take a look.

(all information courtesy of BetOnline)

Over/Under Point Totals (Alphabetically)

Anaheim Ducks - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 79½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 96½

Arizona Coyotes - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 90½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 80½

Boston Bruins - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 100½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 102½

Buffalo Sabres - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 83½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 79½

Calgary Flames - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 96½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 93½

Carolina Hurricanes - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 95½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 84½

Chicago Blackhawks - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 90½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 84½

Colorado Avalanche - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 98½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 90½

Columbus Blue Jackets - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 84½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 97½

Dallas Stars - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 96½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 94½

Detroit Red Wings - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 75½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 75½

Edmonton Oilers - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 85½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 91½

Florida Panthers - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 96½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 94½

Los Angeles Kings - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 73½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 93½

Minnesota Wild - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 84½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 95½

Montreal Canadiens - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 88½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 80½

Nashville Predators - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 97½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 105½

New Jersey Devils - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 88½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 91½

New York Islanders - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 93½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 83½

New York Rangers - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 87½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 75½

Ottawa Senators - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 68½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 71½

Philadelphia Flyers - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 90½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 98½

Pittsburgh Penguins - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 94½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 103½

San Jose Sharks - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 93½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 97½

St Louis Blues - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 96½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 95½

Tampa Bay Lightning - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 108½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 107½

Toronto Maple Leafs - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 101½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 106½

Vancouver Canucks - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 90½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 77½

Vegas Golden Knights - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 100½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 96½

Washington Capitals - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 96½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 98½

Winnipeg Jets - 2018-2019 Regular Season Points
Over/Under 95½
Note: Last year’s opening total was 106½


That’s a lot of information to digest, but one thing is for certain - oddsmakers do not believe the Jackets are a playoff team. BetOnline has the Blue Jackets finishing 13 points worse than they were projected to last season, a difference of six and a half wins. If the Metro Division were to finish as laid out in these standings, here’s what it would look like at the end of the season:

Washington Capitals - 96.5 points
Carolina Hurricanes - 95.5 points
Pittsburgh Penguins - 94.5 points
New York Islanders - 93.5 points
Philadelphia Flyers - 90.5 points
New Jersey Devils - 88.5 points
New York Rangers - 87.5 points
Columbus Blue Jackets - 84.5 points

Now, granted - these are just numbers designed to incite betting action and not a true projection of the standings, but the point remains the same - oddsmakers do not love the Columbus Blue Jackets this season.

Dom Luszczyszyn posted an article to The Athletic last week discussing how much each team improved over the offseason and, no surprise, the Blue Jackets were his big losers, coming in 7.5 wins worse in his model. That loss of 15 points would drop the Columbus Blue Jackets from 98 to 83, far out of the playoff race.

They’ll be closer than some people think though as the team still has some talented pieces available to them. Adding Gustav Nyquist does help, even if it feels like slapping duct tape on a sinking ship, but the battle to make the playoffs is obviously now much tougher.

The Jackets have a tough hill to climb this season. It is unlikely that they will be a playoff team this year simply given the amount of talent that the team lost this offseason. That being said, I do not think the oddsmakers are that fair to the Blue Jackets. Teams like the Rangers and Devils improved this offseason, but did they improve enough to pass the Blue Jackets in the standings and drop the union blue into last place in the Metro Division?

The Rangers added Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba and Kaapo Kakko to a team that finished with 78 points last season. The Devils added Jack Hughes and PK Subban to a team that finished with 72 points last season. The Rangers added enough to potentially pass the Jackets if their goaltending holds up. That remains the biggest question - how much does Henrik Lundqvist have left in the tank? Meanwhile the Devils have a massive problem in goal - Cory Schneider looked washed last season, and there are no signs of him turning that around. For that reason, regardless of questions in the Jackets net, they should finish ahead of the Devils - the situation in net in the capital city is far better than in New Jersey.

Another questionable team listed ahead of the Jackets in the Metro is the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers added Kevin Hayes this offseason and will have a full year of Carter Hart in net. Even still, the Flyers finished 16 points behind the Blue Jackets last season. They stand a chance of passing the Jackets in the standings, but it is no guarantee.


The Jackets will have to count on their youth stepping forward - players like Oliver Bjorkstrand, Zach Werenski, Alexander Texier, and Emil Bemstrom, not to mention at least one of the two netminders - to remain in playoff contention and avoid the Metro Division basement.