2009 preview: Columbus BlueJackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets has a style of play where they put the fans and opponents to sleep by playing a dull first period.

They play defensively, which is why the goalies have always posted such good numbers.

It’s not fun to watch, but it’s working.

Story of the season: Can the Blue Jackets improve on their playoffs? Last year, they made the playoffs for the first time in the team’s history. But they were swept by the Red Wings in the first round. This year, they’re looking to improve on that. Call it baby steps. This year, win a few games, next year a round or two. With plenty of young players and Rick Nash signed to a long-term deal, this will help the team grow up so it can be successful in a few years.

Former Habs:Mathieu Garon

Blog to follow: Light the Lamp

TV commercial break

Pool Picks: Derick Brassard. He had 25 points in 31 games last year before getting injured. He’ll be playing on a line with Rick Nash. How could you not take him? Stay away from: All of the defencemen. They don’t have one guy with a powerful shot, and won’t be counted on to lead the team on offence in any way imaginable.

Award nominees:Manny Malhotra for the Selke

Expected Finish: Third in the Central, eighth in the West

Cheerleader: The Blue Jackets have an ice crew. This is one of them.

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