The Columbus Blue Jackets have had a rocky season. With trades and contracts being discussed before the onlooking public and players attempting to remain loyal to the team while planning for their personal future, this season hasn’t been ideal on many fronts. But what matters now is the only thing that matters. The Playoffs. At press time Columbus narrowly holds the last playoff spot in the Eastern conference via a tie-breaker with Montreal.
After trading for Matt Duchene, the Blue Jackets faced a rocky adjustment as they found out what they had and how to use it. This saw them experience mediocre play at the worst time. However, as Columbus distanced themselves from the time the trade happened, they have begun to gel and players have begun to believe in one another.
One of these players that has reawakened is Cam Atkinson. Cam Atkinson started the season strong and was having a historic season offensively up until the new year where he began to slow down. Since the trade he and others have begun to find their mojo and begin to play together and play aggressive, both creating more chances on offense and in transition and resulting in more goals.
If the Blue Jackets are to clinch the playoffs and hopefully slide into the first wild card spot, they will need to build upon the continuity and identity they have forged since the trade deadline. It has become clear that just making the playoffs and getting eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning is not enough for a franchise that has raised its standards since being 2 games away from advancing for the first time in its young history.