The 2013-2014 NHL season kicked off last night. The Blue Jackets are coming into the season with as much momentum as they've had in their short history. A 19-5-5 finish to the shortened 2013 season took them to a tie for the 8th and final playoff spot, left out only by a tiebreaker. They landed one of the biggest free agents in the offseason, although Nathan Horton won't be ready until December.
The CBJ have their home opener on Friday. The narrative will likely be the same this year - can Bobrovsky bail them out and can they score timely goals? The move to the Eastern Conference and Metro
sexualpolitan Division will be an interesting storyline all year as they go up against East powers Pittsburgh, NYR, Washington, etc.
The Penguins are unanimously picked to win the Metro, but you can find the Jackets slated anywhere from 2nd to 8th depending on what and who you read. The organization has made it quite clear - the goal is to not simply make the playoffs but to contend.
The Jackets opening roster has two rookies - '11 2nd round pick Boone Jenner and '12 2nd overall pick Ryan Murray. More or less, they are taking over for the two oldest guys on last year's team - Vinny Prospal and Adrian Aucoin, which leaves them as one of the youngest teams in the league with an average age of just 26. The Jackets are the only team in the NHL not to bring back their leading scorer from last season (Prospal).
Feel free to discuss the season here. I'll periodically update it with standings, trades, or any other major happenings. I don't think the chatter here will pick up until after the bowl game but maybe I'm wrong about that.