2014-15 NHL Metropolitan Division preview: Can the Columbus Blue Jackets capitalize on their successful 2013-2014 season?

By Eli Bernstein
October 01, 2014

MORE METRO PREVIEWS:  Capitals | Penguins | Rangers | Devils | Islanders |​ Hurricanes | Flyers

COACH: Todd Richards

2013-2014 RECORD: 43-32-7, 93 points (fourth in Metropolitan, lost to Penguins in first round)

VITAL SIGNS: 2.8 goals per game (12th), 2.6 goals-against per game (13th); 19.3 power play pct. (11th); 82.1 penalty kill pct. (14th); shootout record: 5-2 (2nd)

NOTABLE ARRIVALS: LW Scott Hartnell

NOTABLE DEPARTURES: LW R.J. Umberger, LW Blake Comeau, C Derek MacKenzie,RW Jack Skille, D Nikita Nikitin, D Nick Schultz

PROJECTED DEPTH CHART

Forwards

Boone Jenner (broken hand) — Ryan Johansen — Nathan Horton (back injury)
Scott Hartnell — Brandon Dubinsky — Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno — Artem Anisimov — Corey Tropp
Matt Calvert — Mark Letestu — Jared Boll

Defensemen

Jack Johnson — James Wisniewski
Ryan Murray (injured) — Fedor Tyutin
David Savard — Dalton Prout
Tim Erixon

Goalies

Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

NHL
Best case scenarios for Eastern Conference teams
and Jack Johnson continue to set the tone, Columbus could be looking to make even greater strides next spring.

 Blue Jackets, Johansen finally settle on new contract

PLAYER TO WATCH: Ryan Johansen

All eyes in Columbus are on Johansen. After spurning the Blue Jackets’ offers over the summer, the 22 year-old will face a lot of pressure to improve on the 33-30-63 that he put up in 2013-14. Contract disputes can poison even the most tight-knit locker rooms, so it would serve him well to get this one over before it drags on much longer.

 Positive outlook for Columbus, other fretting fan bases

PREDICTION: 95 points (third in Metropolitan)

• ATLANTIC PREVIEWS: Canadiens | Bruins | Sabres | Panthers | Maple Leafs | Red Wings | Lightning | Senators

• CENTRAL PREVIEWS: Wild | Stars | Blackhawks | Avalanche | Jets | Predators | Blues

• PACIFIC PREVIEWS: Canucks | Sharks | Coyotes | Flames | Ducks | Oilers | Kings

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