The Blue Jackets have some milestones on their radar as the second-half of the season gets going this weekend for the team. We also take a look at where this team stacks up in terms of franchise milestones and records from over the seasons.
I put my projections to the degree of likeliness the team and players meet their milestones below.
Definitely Going to Happen
900 Career Games
Captain Nick Foligno will play his 900th career game this season. He’s 11 away.
200 Career Goals
It’s not surprising to note that Cam Atkinson is closing in on 200-career goals for a career, but it did kind of surprise me that Foligno is right behind Atkinson for the same trajectory, and just six off the pace of Atkinson.
200 Career Assists
All-Star Seth Jones and free agent acquisition Gustav Nyquist are neck-and-neck in career assists and could both hit career 200 rather soon. Jones is one assist away from 150 in his Blue Jackets career.
60 Career Goals
Jones is sitting on career goal no. 59. He's six away from 50 career Blue Jackets goals. Zach Werenski is seven from 60 career tallies.
100 Career Assists
I know I’m probably taking a risk assuming this is definitely going to happen. But Ryan Murray, who is closing in on 100 career helpers, (again, assuming he actually is healthy long enough to see the opportunity) only needs seven more.
200 Career Points
Alexander Wennberg needs just one more point for his 200th career point. His next assist would be no. 160 in his career and I pegged him for 10 goals before the season. He’s halfway there. Jones is seven points from 200 as a Blue Jacket.
300 Games Played (Career)
Werenski is 19 games from 300 in his career.
Games Played (Individual Season)
No one has played more games in a season for the Blue Jackets until Pierre-Luc Dubois came along in 2017-18 (82). He hasn’t missed a game since.
Goals by Defenseman (Individual Season)
Werenski is one goal from matching his personal best, and tying the franchise record for goals in a season by a defenseman (16), set by both he and Jones in 2017-18.
Atkinson holds the individual season record with eight, while Oliver Bjorkstrand sits with five at the midway point. Bjorkstrand might just set this in a week the way he’s going.
Very Well Might Happen
500 Career Games
If he plays the final 31 games, Boone Jenner will play his 500th career game this season.
Ice-time (All Players)
In 2012-13, Jack Johnson led the Jackets in average ice-time (25:58) and Jones sits at 25:21. Jones is your typical ice-time leader through the last few seasons, and while spreading ice is great for teams that can do it, Jones is a guy you like running out there.
400 Career Points
Atkinson needs 32 points for 400 in his career.
I mean, I Guess it Could Happen
100 Career Games
Adam Clendening (90) and Markus Hannikainen (91) are both closing in towards 100 career games under their NHL belts. But we’ll see if either gets the opportunity to inch closer to triple digits this season.
Goals against (Team)
In 2016-17 the Jackets allowed 193 goals, which was second in the entire NHL. This season they are at 128, which is tied-for-second in the NHL. Can they give up fewer than 65 goals over the final 31 games?
Goals Against Per Game Played
Columbus finished second in 2016-17 (2.35) and currently sits tied-for-second (2.51). I feel like that’s attainable. It’s probably doubtful (realistically) but why not.
Ice-time (All Forwards)
Artemi Panarin averaged 20:08 in 2017-18 and this season Atkinson is at 17:52. It probably won’t really happen, but this isn’t that crazy.
Points by a Defenseman
Jones set the defenseman record for points with 57 in 2017-18. This season, Werenski leads the team with 30. Jones is second with 28. With these two, nothing is off the table. Jones hit 46 last season, and ‘Z’ hit 44 a season ago. Looks like Werenski will at least smash that.
The six-game winning streak is nice but, c’mon. The 2016-17 16-game winning streak just sets bar a little high.
The Blue Jackets won 28 home games in 2016-17 and are currently at 16. Like, 13 wins doesn’t seem like a crazy high number. But then you see there’s literally 14 home games left and running the table, even with this group on this run, is obviously pretty unlikely.
Last year the team set the current record with 25 road wins. This year, they’re currently at 11.
The 108 in 2016-17 looks safe. The Jackets, though on their second-best start through 50 games, sit at 62, which is better than the 59 at the All-Star Break last season.
In 2014-15, the Jackets finished 21.7% with the man-advantage. This year, it’s 17.7%. Need we say more?
The best penalty kill in franchise history goes back to 2002-03 (85.3%) and it’s at 81.9% this year. This is a good unit but can they climb four percent over the second half?
They had a franchise-high 256 last season. They’re at 138 now. Next.
Atkinson and Rick Nash share the individual goals record with 41, and that’s safe for another year. As hot as he is, Bjorkstrand’s 16 isn’t close. But imagine if he didn’t miss injury time.
Ditto Panarin’s assists record (59). Dubois and Jones (23) will need heaters.
And points (87). Dubois is at 38.
David Savard was a plus-33 in 2016-17 and currently, Vladislav Gavrikov leads the club at plus-12.
Games Played (Goalies)
Marc Denis played 77 games in 2002-03. Joonas Korpisalo is at 32, Elvis Merzlikins at 21, Matiss Kivlenieks won his only one.
Minutes Played (Goalies)
Denis recorded 4,511. This season, Korpisalo is 1876:16, while Merzlikins is 1129:05, and Kivlenieks (one start) is at 60 minutes.
In 2016-17, Sergei Bobrovsky set the record for wins with 41. Korpisalo (17), Merzlikins (9), Kivlenieks (1).
Goals Against Average
Bobrovsky had a 2.00 GAA in 2012-13. Korpisalo is 2.49, while Merzlikins is 2.39, and Kivlenieks (1.00). The caveat on any Bobrovsky records from 2012-13 was the lockout shortened season so Bobrovsky started 37 games, and played 38 of a possible 48 games.
Bobrovsky had a .932 save percentage back in 2012-13. Right now, here’s where Merzlikins (.926) and Korpisalo (.913) stack up. Kivlenieks is .969.
Power Play Goals (Individual)
Rick Nash’s 19 in 2003-04 still holds up over time. Werenski’s got four this year.
Short-Handed Goals (Team)
The 2002-03 team finished second with 12 shorties.
Short-Handed Goals (Individual)
Rick Nash sits with the record of five set in 2008-09, while this season, three players each have one: Riley Nash, Nyquist, and Werenski.
In 2017-18 the club had a high of 2,761 shots during the season. This year they’re at 1,621 while averaging 31.8 a game. While they’re better than half the league in this category, they’d have to average a slight uptick more in order to meet that pace for over 2,700 shots over the final 31 games.
Steve Mason holds the rookie record, and overall franchise record, with 10 shutouts. Korpisalo has two this season, while Merzlikins has three.
300 Career Points
Jones would need a heater to get to no. 300 this season. He’s 44 points away.
500 Career Points
Foligno needs 44 points to hit career no. 500 this season.