Columbus Blue Jackets Return to Nationwide Arena

The Columbus Blue Jackets will spend most of February in friendly confines of Nationwide Arena. They must take advantage of home ice and prove they are a Cup contender.

The Columbus Blue Jackets return to Central Ohio for a pivotal February that will be spent mostly at home sweet home. The CBJ can get comfy in Columbus as they will play eight of the next 11 at home, including seven in a row.

Every team would rather play in front of their home crowd, but the Jackets take advantage more than most. Columbus so far this year boasting a 18-5-1 record, good for .771 points percentage. That’s the third best percentage in the entire league as the CBJ have banked 37 home points. All this home success has occurred even though 24 teams in the league have played more home games than the Columbus Blue Jackets.

That certainly wont be the case after this month where the team will not leave Columbus from February 8th until the 25th. That will include seven straight games at Nationwide Arena and the league mandatory five days off.

This season’s home atmosphere hasn’t been seen since the Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Penguins in 2014. The combination of a spectacular team and a subpar Ohio State Basketball team have turned sellouts into the norm now at NWA.

Don’t expect the team to ease off the gas. Coach John Tortorella will not allow that, certainly not after the play in January. He has emphasized the need for this young team to continue to play every game as if it is a playoff game.

Travel? What Travel?

Even the travel in the month of February is miniscule. A quick trip up to Detroit and a mini trip to New York and Montreal. These two trips result in round trip flights totaling 1,725 miles. By comparison, a one way trip to Los Angeles is just under 2,000 miles.

Cup contenders must take advantage of home ice and the Jackets must prove they can do so in crunch time. The killer instinct must be on display this month in Ohio’s Capital City. Travel can be a killer during an 82 game season so taking advantage of home ice critical.

16 points are up for grabs at Nationwide Arena for the Columbus Blue Jackets in February. Taking at least 13 points will be viewed as a successful run. Less than 10 and the CBJ might just be a one and done team in April.

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