In case you missed it, you can now purchase single game tickets for Columbus Blue Jackets home games in the 2019-20 season. If you need help picking which games to attend, here’s my own personal ranking of all 41 home games in terms of desirability. I ranked based on day of the week, quality of opponent, and other special factors, then tweaked the list from there. Note: I gave more weight to games against good teams. You may disagree, thinking that a game against a bad team gives a better chance of seeing a Jackets victory. That may be true, but those wins aren’t as satisfying and if they no-show against a bad team it sucks SO BAD.
You can find the full schedule HERE. Without further ado, let’s get to the rankings:
41. Monday, November 25 vs. Ottawa
40. Monday, February 24, 2019 vs. Ottawa
Senators owner Eugene Melnyk doesn’t care if his team is competitive, so why should you? Nothing to see here, and is there a worst day to see a game than a Monday night? 2/24 gets the edge here because that’s the trade deadline. Maybe you’ll see new players in the lineup! Or maybe someone you like will have been traded.
39. Monday, October 7 vs. Buffalo
First of all, we must insist that we only play our rivals on Wednesdays. Second, the Browns play the 49ers that night on Monday Night Football. All your rowdy friends...will be doing anything but watching hockey.
38. Thursday, December 19 vs. Los Angeles
Man, five years is a long time since winning their second Stanley Cup. Use this night to get your last minute Christmas shopping done. You should ship stuff the next morning if you want to guarantee delivery before Christmas Day.
37. Tuesday, December 3 vs. Arizona
The Coyotes may actually be good! It’s hard to say. You know how I asked about Mondays earlier? I think Tuesdays may be just as bad. There are more interesting games right before and after this one that are better uses of your time and money.
36. Thursday, November 21 vs. Detroit
I used to dread Red Wings games but that has changed since the series has turned against them. You’re not likely to see a good game here, but on the plus side maybe you’ll see a drunken fight in the stands like I saw a couple years ago at one of these games.
35. Sunday, March 1 vs. Vancouver
It’s weird to me to have a 7 p.m. start on a Sunday. You know you’re going to sit there the whole time dreading what Monday at the office has in store for you. Like Jim Benning does every day.
34. Wednesday, October 16 vs. Dallas
Midweek, middle of football season, opposite conference opponent. Not going to be a great crowd for this game. The Stars have some fun players to watch, plus a chance to see how much Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry have left in the tank.
33. Wednesday, January 22 vs. Winnipeg
Come say hi to local product Jack Roslovic! Then leave early because chances are there will be inclement weather and you should drive slowly on your way home.
32. Friday, February 28 vs. Minnesota
This is only as high as it is because it’s a Friday.
31. Friday, October 11 vs. Anaheim
See above. If John Gibson plays, it’s going to be hard to see many goals for the home team. No free chili for you on Saturday.
30. Wednesday, October 30 vs. Edmonton
Bad night against a bad opponent. Normally this would be much lower. HOWEVER! You owe it to yourself to see Connor McDavid in person. He’s that good.
29. Tuesday, November 5 vs. Vegas
Bad night, but a good, fun opponent. The Golden Knights have yet to win in Nationwide Arena.
28. Wednesday, November 27 vs. Philadelphia
Division game! But I don’t know if the Flyers are good enough or not. Can you spare this night for Thanksgiving? Maybe it’s the escape from your family you need. Also of note is that this is a nationally televised game. Go and show the rest of the country what Columbus fans can be.
27. Friday, February 7 vs. Detroit
This is the first night of a home back-to-back. If you can only go to one of those, this is not the one to attend.
26. Monday, March 30 vs. New York Islanders
If the Jackets are a bubble team, this could be a very important game. If they are out of it, then I don’t find the Islanders a fun team to watch.
25. Thursday, February 20 vs. Philadelphia
See above, re: Flyers.
24. Tuesday, November 19 vs. Montreal
Columbus is 4-1 against the Habs at Nationwide over the last three seasons. That span starts with the famous WE WANT TEN game and includes a 5-2 win in March 2018 and a 6-2 win in March 2019.
23. Tuesday, February 4 vs. Florida
This is the second chance for Sergei Bobrovsky to play against the Jackets. Will he pull a Mason and not start either time?
22. Thursday, October 24 vs. Carolina
21. Thursday, January 16 vs. Carolina
The Jerks were a fun story as they ended a decade-long playoff drought and reached the Eastern Conference Finals. Even before getting good they were a thorn in the Jackets’ side for several years now. These should be good games.
20. Monday, December 16 vs. Washington
18. Thursday, March 19 vs. Washington
Like McDavid, Alex Ovechkin is a generational talent you need to see now while you have the chance. March 19 is 5th Line Appreciation Night, which features lots of extra games and prizes.
19. Sunday, December 29 vs. Chicago
The big advantage of this game is that it’s a 5 p.m. start. Great opportunity to take kids to a game while they’re on their holiday break. The huge downside is that you are exposing your children to Blackhawks fans. They are the woooooooooooooooorst.
I know I’m not helping matters by avoiding future games against Chicago, but I really can’t stand being around SO MANY of those assholes.
Editor’s Note: I’m sorry for the language. I apologize to all assholes for comparing them to Blackhawks fans.
17. Tuesday, January 14 vs. Boston
This is the one chance for the Jackets get revenge o the Bruins here in Columbus. This game would be much higher if it were not midweek.
16. Saturday, December 21 vs. New Jersey
15. Saturday, January 18 vs. New Jersey
Like with the Hurricanes, both games against the Devils are on the same day of the week. Weird. The Devils should be a team to watch with the return of healthy Taylor Hall (in a contract year!), the NHL debut of top draft pick Jack Hughes, and the acquisition of PK Subban.
14. Saturday, November 2 vs. Calgary
Ohio State is on a bye this weekend. Calgary has some explosive players to watch, like Johnny Gaudreau. The goaltending? TBD. Expect lots of goals.
13. Thursday, March 12, 2019 vs Pittsburgh
This may deserve to be higher. It’s a weeknight, so there should be fewer Yinzers crashing the joint. But it’s Thursday, so close enough to the weekend to have a good time. In mid-March, this game could have playoff implications for at least one of the teams involved.
12. Thursday, December 5 vs. New York Rangers
This is Artemi Panarin’s first game back in Columbus.
11. Monday, February 10 vs. Tampa Bay
We’ve already established that Monday games suck, but this is an exception. It’s Tampa’s first chance to get revenge for the embarrassment of a first round sweep. Even better: it’s another national televised game.
10. Saturday, October 19 vs. New York Islanders
No Ohio State game on this day, since they play the night before ON A FRIDAY WHICH I AM ANGRY ABOUT AND WILL REMAIN ANGRY ABOUT, DAMN YOU JIM DELANEY. Anywho, Saturdays are great for hockey and even at this early point in the season it may swing momentum for either or both of these projected playoff bubble teams.
9. Saturday, February 8 vs. Colorado
The Avs are another exciting young team, led by former Cleveland Monsters head coach Jared Bednar. This is the second half of a home back-to-back.
8. Friday, November 15 vs. St. Louis
Every team will be gunning for the defending Cup champions.
7. Friday, February 14 vs. New York Rangers
Panarin return 2.0. Some may complain about it being on Valentine’s Day, but I think you should find yourself a loved one who wants nothing more than to spend that day attending a hockey game.
6. Saturday, March 14 vs. Nashville
Another fun Saturday matchup, and the return of CBJ playoff hero Matt Duchene.
5. Thursday, April 2 vs. Tampa Bay
The home finale! Give thanks to the team for a well fought season. At least, I hope that’s what it is.
4. Saturday, January 4 vs. San Jose
A very good opponent, and a 1 p.m. start for another good family game.
3. Tuesday, December 31 vs Florida
If you haven’t been to a New Year’s Eve game, go. It’s a fun time. Then you get to hang out in the Downtown/Arena District/Short North festivities after the game. This marks Bob’s first return to Nationwide.
2. Friday, October 4 vs. Toronto
Opening Night! That’s another can’t-miss. Meet the team, and cheer them loudly to start the season on the right foot. The Leaves pose a big challenge but a rewarding one if they can pull off the victory.
1. Friday, November 29 vs. Pittsburgh
After a day of Black Friday shopping, relax at a hockey game. How do you make a holiday week game better? How about a match-up against the most hated rival? If you live out of town and are coming home for Thanksgiving, you have to come to this one.
Now let’s hear from you. Any games that you would rank higher? Which ones do you plan on attending?