Life as a hockey fan in Ohio has typically brought more lows than highs. And, thus far, it has never involved a playoff game.
But this year’s version of the Columbus Blue Jackets is doing its best to change things and a pair of rookies are playing a huge role.
Center Derick Brassard is battling Chicago’s Kris Versteeg for the top spot among rookie scorers, while freshman goalie Steve Mason has debuted with a 4-1-1 record and already has his first big-league shutout.
Another rookie, Jakub Voracek, hasn’t looked out of place either and don’t forget about skilled Russian Nikita Filatov, an 18-year-old who bagged his first NHL marker during a four-game stint with the Jackets.
With the youth movement in full swing, meaningful games late in the season are right around the corner in Columbus.
Patrick Marleau had 48 points last year; this season, he's on pace for 93
Little Jiri Hudler looks like he'll be the next Detroit player to make you wonder, 'Where'd they find this guy?'
Have played 21 games and lost only once by more than one goal
Martin Havlat is almost the forgotten man on this team
Dany Sabourin has done a nice job pinch hitting for the injured Marc-Andre Fleury
Can't be 28th in average goals for per game and expect to compete with the big boys for long
Hot start becoming a distant memory now
Jeff Carter is making good on all that offensive potential
Giving up just more than five goals per game in past four contests
Not having Mike Komisarek on the back end leaves a big, mean void
With Luongo, the Canucks are a top-five team on this list
Brendan Morrison hasn't supplied that secondary offense Anaheim was after
Always great to see a nice guy like Scott Clemmensen succeeding
Shea Weber could get 30 goals this year
Cam Ward looks great some nights, others, not so much
Mike Cammalleri has one goal in his past 10 games
Rick Nash has goals in his past five games
Lost seven of eight to officially enter a free-fall
Just when you thought Matt Stajan should never play above the third line he starts posting points
A healthy Sheldon Souray leads the team with four power play goals
Their silver and black third jersey would be better if it was simply the vintage Gretzky-era design
I don't know why Antoine Vermette hasn't developed into a top-six forward, but he definitely has not
Bad year got worse with the news Brenden Morrow is gone for the season with a torn ACL
Keeping their head above water despite a slew of injuries
Avs are 4-0 in shootouts this year
Kari Lehtonen is now on injured reserve with a back injury; seems like his career will never get on track
Young Yotes have dropped five straight
Lots of injuries, but Isles have actually gone 6-3-1 in their past 10
Things could get real ugly if Mike Smith's "lower-body injury" keeps him out of the lineup for too long
Three goals and nine points in just nine games for newcomer Bryan McCabe this year
The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.
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