Recap – The Columbus Blue Jackets saw some fantastic goaltending in the first half of the 2008 NHL season. Pascal Leclaire is tied for the league lead in shutouts with 7 and has the 2nd lowest GAA at 2.06. Helping Leclaire’s numbers stick up in the win column are offensive threats Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev. Both wingmen have 43 total points and were a huge part in the Jackets success. One thing working against the team’s playoff chances is the Central Division. It is the toughest in the NHL from top to bottom, and teams just seem to beat up on each other all season long.
2nd Half – Making the playoffs shouldn’t be a problem if Pascal stays hot in net. Defense will continue to win hockey games for the Jackets and their chances to advance in the first round will depend on their ability to score early in the game. The team has done a nice job holding early leads throughout the year.
Team Name: Columbus Blue Jackets (24-20-6)
Central Division Standing: T-2nd place
Conference Standing: T-9th place
Final Predictions – 2nd in Central Division, 6th in Western Conference