The Columbus Blue Jackets were officially eliminated from playoff contention with their loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday, their eighth straight. While the team is just playing for draft position at this point, there are some individual marks that we should be on the lookout for in the final two weeks:
- Jack Roslovic has already set his career high in points, which is especially impressive given how many fewer games he has played this year compared to the previous two. He is just two goals away from tying his career high in goals, 12, which he set last season.
- Oliver BJORKSTRAND has been remarkably consistent, sitting on exactly 36 points earned in three consecutive seasons (stats prior to Sunday night’s game). He played 49 games in 2019-20 and 49 games in 2021 through Thursday, recording 21 goals/15 assists in the former and 15 goals/21 assists in the latter. With four more points he’ll match his career high of 40, set in his first full season (2017-18). His career high of 23 goals is likely out of reach unless he can manage over a goal per game over his final six games.
- Cam Atkinson is two shy of Rick Nash for the franchise lead in career game-winning goals. Unfortunately that would require this team to win two more games and, uh..... Anyway, moving on:
- Several younger players are getting a chance to play, which means several players could score their first career goal yet this season. That includes: Mikko Lehtonen, Kole Sherwood, Ryan MacInnis, and Josh Dunne.
Now that the six game road trip is over, the Jackets get to wrap up the season with a healthy amount of home cooking. They host the Red Wings on Tuesday before traveling to Carolina on Saturday for their final road game. The season finishes with two game sets at Nationwide against Nashville and Detroit.
In case you missed it
Dalerrific on where Patrik Laine fits in the team’s long term plans.
MrSwift13 reviewed the biggest trade deadline moves.
According to the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, 52 percent of Blue Jackets fans believe the team is headed in the right direction. That’s down from 60 percent last week but up from 18 percent two weeks ago.
Around the League
This week one of the most storied NHL records fell when Patrick Marleau played his 1,768th game, surpassing Gordie Howe. Other than the record, Marleau’s career may not rival that of Howe, but the longtime San Jose Sharks forward has had an extremely impressive run.
More than two-thirds of NHL fans believe Marleau’s career is nice enough to deserve induction to the Hall of Fame.
The number of fans that think he will reach the Hall, deserving or not, is even higher.
To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.
Play me out
RIP Jim Steinman. The songwriter is best known for his work with the singer Meat Loaf, including the track below. He wrote a number of hits in the 80s as well, including Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” His songs were appropriately excessive for the 1980s, often stretching longer than most radio hits. They were epic, often corny in hindsight, but mostly a lot of fun. Who doesn’t love to sing along to something like this when no one else is around to hear you?