Central Division In Review: Part 1 of 4, Blue Jacket Blues

Last year the Blue Jackets went 34-35-13 and were only better than Colorado and Edmonton in the Western Conference. Against the Hawks, the Jackets were 2-4.

This season they have added Vinny Prospal to help Rick Nash, who has been alone in the scoring department for Columbus. They also signed former Blackhawk James Wisniewski. His style of play has changes since he knocked out Brent Seabrook two years ago. Someone along the way turned him into a well-rounded defenseman.

The Jackets’ top acquisition this off-season was Jeff Carter from the Flyers. The sniper will give the Jackets some much needed scoring power, but he is known as a shoot-first player. Sharing the puck with Captain Nash may prove to be difficult.

The Blue Jackets’ lack of depth is their weakest point. The first two lines will be strong with their new additions, but the defense is still shaky and the third and fourth lines are still weak.

Goaltender Steve Mason will still get the starting job this season. He isn’t the worst goalie in the league, but don’t look for him to win the Vezina trophy any time soon. The Jackets are a better team when he is in net though. He had a record of 24-21-7 last season and a .901 save percentage.

Even with a few big moves this offseason, the Jackets do not look to be leaving the basement of the Central Division any time soon. Jeff Carter will help their offense tremendously but this isn’t the NBA and Jeff Carter isn’t LeBron James.

The Blue Jackets will prove to be an annoyance more than an obstacle this season. Even with the new acquisitions, they won’t be making a push to take the division this year. Their team is too shallow and the defense has too many holes to be a contender.

Marty Hobe


  • K_Dog

    Even though CBJ finished at the bottom of the Central last season, I thought they were really pretty competitive. Same goes for the whole division…I didn’t consider any of them to be “bad” by any means. Quite remarkable, really. I don’t see the upcoming season being any different, which makes for an exciting regular season. Let’s just hope it’s not “too exciting” at the end of the season like it was last year.

  • John Jaeckel

    I think “hype” turned Wiz into a more well-rounded defenseman than reality has. He HAS improved, but not $5.5 million a year improved. Jackets will be better, Arniel is a good coach. Look out for Matt Calvert—Kris Versteeg with hockey sense and no green sunglasses.

    Nice blog.

  • MartyHobe

    The Central Division is one of the tightest in the league. All four teams could possibly go .500 or better and it would not be a surprise. Out of the four opposing teams in the division, i believe Columbus is the least of our worries.

    As for Wiz, I do agree he is not worth the money he is getting. But he is a top defenseman on that team.