Columbus Blue Jackets
2000/01: Major professional sports landed in Columbus for the first time as the Blue Jackets of the NHL made their debut. In their very first game at Nationwide Arena on October 7th, the Blue Jackets jumped out to a 3-0 lead against the Chicago Blackhawks, with Bruce Gardiner scoring the first goal in franchise history. However, the sold out crowd of 18,136 would go home disappointed after the Blackhawks scored five unanswered goals to win 5-3. The Jackets would get their first win five days later when they beat the Calgary Flames on the road 3-2. Their first home win would not come until October 27th when they beat the Washington Capitals 3-1. The Blue Jackets would go on to finish in last place in the Central Division with a 28-39-9-6 record, as Geoff Sanderson led the team with 30 goals and 26 assists. Despite the team’s last place finish goalie Ron Tugnutt would set a record for wins by a goalie on an expansion team with 22.
2001/02: After a respectable inaugural season the Blue Jackets second season is full of disappointments as they finish in last place again with a record of 22-47-8-5, that is a full 14 points less then their first season, as goalies Ron Tugnutt and Marc Denis would struggle with high GAA average and poor records. Providing some notoriety would be Espen Knutsen who became the first Blue Jacket to play in the All-Star Game scoring a goal and an assist for the victorious World Team. However, the lasting memory of the season would be of the tragic death of young Blue Jacket fan Brittanie Cecil. Cecil who was attending the game on her 13th birthday was struck by a deflected puck while attending a game against the Calgary Flames at Nationwide Arena. She would tragically die two days later becoming the first fan fatality in the NHL’s 85-year history. The Blue Jackets honor her memory by wearing a heart shaped decal with her initials “BNC” on their helmets for the remainder of the season. The death of Brittanie Cecil would force the NHL to put netting up in the offensive zones in all arenas the following season to protect the fans.
2002/03: The Blue Jackets who had the top overall pick in the NHL draft select 18-year old OHL star Rick Nash who would make the team out of training camp and have an instant impact as the Blue Jackets got off to a solid 7-5-1-1. However, over the next two months the Jackets would struggle as Coach Dave King is fired and replaced by General Manager Doug MacLean. Under MacLean the Blue Jackets would still finish in last place with a record of 29-42-8-3. However, with a strong 17 goal 22 assist rookie season from rookie Rick Nash the Blue Jackets know they now have a player they can build around.
2003/04: The development of Rick Nash into one of the league’s best superstars continued as he finished tied for the NHL lead in goals scored with 41 with Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers and Jarome Iginla. However it did not translate into wins on the ice as the Blue Jackets struggled again, and were never a factor in the playoff chase finishing in fourth Place with a 25-45-8-4 record, as Doug MacLean left the bench in the middle of the season to concrete on his duties as General Manager with Gerard Gallant taking over behind the bench.
2004/05: Season Cancelled Due to Lock Out
2005/06: Coming out of the Lock Out the Blue Jackets hoped to finally take that next step into the playoffs as they signed Defenseman Adam Foote. However, injuries to Rick Nash early in the season once again had the Jackets in a deep hole as they won just five of their first 23 games. The Jackets continued to struggle in December as they landed former All-Star Sergei Fedorov in a trade with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. However, Fedorov continued to struggle as the Jackets continued to lose, finishing in third place with a 35-43-4 record.
2006/07: With Pascal Leclaire taking over for Marc Denis, who signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning in goal the Blue Jackets entered their seventh season hoping for a change of fortune. However, they once again got off to a horrible start, as Coach Gerard Gallant was fired on November 13th after a 5-9-1 start. After being led briefly by interim Coach Gary Agnew, who was winless in five games the Jackets named Ken Hitchcock an experienced coach with a proven track record including a Stanley Cup Championship to lead the team following Thanksgiving. In Hitchcock’s first game the Jackets lost to the Philadelphia Flyers who fired him only a month earlier 3-2. Early on the Blue Jackets played well under Hitchcock winning five games in a row in December, but the lack of scoring continued to haunt the team all season as they set an embarrassing NHL modern day record by being shutout 16 times, as they finished in last place with a terrible record of 33-42-7.
2007/08: Things looked good early for the Blue Jackets, who were still seeking their first playoff appearance, in their eighth year of existence, with them starting the season with Coach Ken Hitchcock, and posting a 7-3-1 record in October. However, playoff spots are not earned in the fall, and the Blue Jackets great start would be just a memory a month later, as they won just four games in November. They would rebound slightly again in December, but they were playing catch up all season in the playoff chase. By the time the trade deadline rolled around, Adam Foote the team’s captain’s frustrations grew apparent as he requested a trade to the Colorado Avalanche, something the team would grant, receiving a pair of conditional picks in return. The Jackets also dealt away Sergei Fedorov to the Washington Capitals, ending a disappointing two and half years in Columbus for the future Hall of Famer. The Jackets would stay in the playoff chase into March, as Rick Nash became the team’s new captain. However, as the Blue Jackets won just one of their last eight games, and missed the playoffs again. One bright spot was that their 34-36-12 record was their best season to date.
2008/09: Hoping to finally get into the postseason the Blue Jackets signed free agents Kristian Huselius and Mike Commodore to multi-year contracts to give themselves a winger and a defenseman to create a more complete team that could contend in the Western Conference. Earlier on the Jackets continued to struggle as they lost six of their first nine games. In November, as Rookie Steve Mason took over between the pipes the Blue Jackets began to play better, as they entered the New Year with a record 17-16-4, with Mason recording three straight shutouts. Steve Mason would go on to post ten shutouts on the season, while putting up a strong 2.29 GAA and .916 save percentage. These numbers would earn Mason, the Calder Trophy given to the NHL’s top Rookie. In the middle of the playoff chase the Jackets would make two major deals, sending Clay Wilson and a sixth-round draft pick to the Atlanta Thrashers for Jason Williams, while acquiring Antoine Vermette former Goalie Pascal Leclaire. Both deals benefited the Blue Jackets greatly as Williams scored 28 points in his first 36 games and Vermette scored 11 points in his first 14 games with the team. The Blue Jackets would stretch with four losses in their last five games, but they would still slip into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history with a record of 41-31-10. In the playoffs the Blue Jackets had the daunting task of facing the defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings. After losing the first two games on the road, 4-0 and 4-1 the Jackets finally hosted the first Stanley Cup playoff game in the State of Ohio on April 21st. However, the Wings continued to dominate the Jackets with a 4-1 win. The Wings would go on to sweep the series in four straight games, as they eliminated the Blue Jackets with a 6-5 win in Game 4.
2009/10: Coming off their first playoff appearance the Blue Jackets got off to a solid start, winning five of their first six games. After a slump at the end of October, the Jackets got off to a strong start in November with a 6-1-1 record through their first eight games. However, over their next 24 games, they would go into a prolonged slump posting a 3-14-7. One big reason for the Blue Jackets struggles was the play of Goalie Steve Mason who had a sophomore slump posting a 20-26-9 record with a 3.06 GAA after winning the Calder Trophy and being a Vezina Finalist in his rookie season. The Jackets disappointing season would lead to the firing of Coach Ken Hitchcock who was let go on February 3rd, with the Jackets holding a record of 22-27-9. Claude Noel would run the team behind the bench for the rest of the season on an interim basis. The Blue Jackets would win their first three games with Noel as their coach. However, they would lose their next five games sandwiched around the Olympic Break. With the playoffs out of reach the Jackets would be sellers at the trade deadline, sending several players to contending teams for the stretch run, getting prospects and draft picks in return. The Blue Jackets would go on to finish the season with a record of 32-35-14, while finishing last in the Central Division.
2010/11: After a disappointing season saw them fall back to last place, the Blue Jackets opened the season by splitting a pair with the San Jose Sharks in Stockholm, Sweden. Upon returning home the Jackets were beaten by the reigning champion Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 in their home opener. However, the Blue Jackets would post a winning record in their first month. The Jackets would continue to play solid hockey in November, as they posted a 14-6 record in their first 20 games. However, the Jackets would quickly go into a slump, as they entered the New Year with a record of 20-15-3. Things would start poorly in January, as they won just one of their first eight games. The Blue Jackets recovered in February, as they got back in the playoff picture, by posting a record of 8-3-1. As the trade deadline approached, the Jackets were busy, landing Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto from the Phoenix Coyotes for Rostislav Klesla and Dane Byers. They also picked up Greg Moore along with prospect Michael Chaput from the Philadelphia Flyers for Tom Sestito, while Petr Kalus was picked up from the Minnesota Wild for future considerations. However, the deals would provide no help as the Blue Jackets played terrible hockey down the stretch, posting a 3-12-7 record in their final 22 games as they again finished in last place with a record of 34-35-13.
2011/12: It was the 12th season for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who in their first 11 years had only made a cameo in the playoffs, without winning a game. Hoping to finally see some success the Jackets were busy in the off-season picking up Jeff Carter in a trade that sent Jakub Voracek and two draft picks, including the eighth overall pick to the Philadelphia Flyers in return. To say the season did not get off to a good start would be an understatement as they dropped their first eight games, The Blue Jackets would earn their first win on October 25th against the Detroit Red Wings, but it would take almost another month before they even put back to back wins together. On a last place team that on a nightly basis was blown out Jeff Carter seemed to sulk right from the start of the season as he was one of many players who struggled early in the season, while also missing ten games with a foot injury. Rumors that longtime Captain Rick Nash wanted a trade were also hanging over Columbus, which had become the darkest depot in the NHL as the team continued to own last place. Following an ugly 7-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, the Blue Jackets fired Coach Scott Arniel and replaced him with Todd Richards, as they announced they were going to trade the unhappy Jeff Carter as they held a horrendous record of 11-25-5. The Jackets would not play much better under Richards as they won just two of their first ten games under their interim coach. One loss that was particularly gnawing was a 3-2 road loss to the Los Angeles Kings, in which Drew Doughty scored with just 0.4 seconds remaining to win the game. The clock at the Staple Center appeared to stick with 1.8 seconds left adding to the Jackets misery. A misery that soon would see Jeff Carter leave happily as he was sent to the Kings two weeks prior to the trade deadline, with the Blue Jackets getting Jack Johnson and a firs round pick in return. Jeff Carter would go on to be part of a surprise run for the Kings to win the Stanley Cup. The Blue Jackets would not succeed in giving Rick Nash the same freedom. The Blue Jackets would go on to finish in dead last with a record of 29-46-7, the worst season in franchise history of a team that has had a miserable history. Following the season the Jackets would start the process of starting over as Rick Nash, the team’s only star was dealt to the New York Rangers for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, prospect Tim Erixon and a 2013 first-round draft pick.
2012/13: As the season began after a lockout wiped out the first three and half months, there were no expectations for a good season in Columbus, as the Blue Jackets dealt away longtime captain Rick Nash to the New York Rangers. Changes were also made in the front office as John Davidson took over the team’s management while Jarmo Kekalainen, who had previously worked with Davidson in St. Louis, was named the Blue Jackets new General Manager in February. Despite a 3-2 season opening win over the Nashville Predators, the Jackets got off to a slow start, as the won just two of their first eight games. February would not be much better, as the Blue Jackets won just three times and held a 5-12-3 mark through 20 games. However, as March began, there began a turnaround in Columbus, as Sergei Bobrovsky took over as the Jackets starting goalie. The Jackets would get at least one point in their first 11 games in March, winning eight games, with Bobrovsky allowing two goals or less eight times. The Jackets would finish March with a 15-14-7 record that suddenly had them in the playoff race. Looking to add some offense, the Blue Jackets were active at the trade deadline, acquiring Marian Gaborik, Steven Delisle and Blake Parlett from the Rangers for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and John Moore. Gaborik would collect eight points in 12 games as the Jackets continued their strong play in April. However, they would miss the playoff by a tiebreaker despite winning 9 of their last 12 games to finish the season with a record of 24-17-7. Sergei Bobrovsky would earn the Vezina Triophy as the best goalie in the NHL by career bests GAA of a 2.00 and a .932 save percentage.
2013/14: After narrowly missing out on the playoffs, the Columbus Blue Jackets were one of two teams moving from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference as part of the NHL’s realignment from six divisions back to four. The Jackets would be placed in the Metropolitan Division and would get off to a slow start, losing five of their first seven games. After getting back to .500 before the end of October, the Blue Jackets suffered another setback, losing five games in a row. Despite missing reigning Vezina winner SegeiBobrovsky missing most of December with a groin injury, the Jackets began to turn their season around and went into the New Year with a 17-19-4 record. Bobrovsky would return January 6th, two weeks ahead of schedule and helped lead the Blue Jackets to 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The return of Sergei Bobrovosky would spark an eight game winning streak, putting Columbus back in the playoff race as they went into the Olympic Break with a record of 29-25-5. As the season resumed, the Blue Jackets were busy at the trade deadline, sending Marian Gaborik to the Los Angeles Kings for Matt Fratting and a conditional draft pick. The Jackets also picked up Nick Shultz from the Edmonton Oilers, while getting Matt Taormina and Dana Tyrell from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The moves had a positive effect on the Blue Jackets playoff hopes as they won nine games in March and went into April on top of the Eastern Conference Wild Card standings. The Jackets would win six of their last nine games and sewed up their second franchise berth by finishing the season with a record of 43-32-7. Ryan Johansen was the Jackets leading scorer with 33 goals and 30 assists, while James Wisniewski led the team with 44 assists.
2014 Playoffs: Facing the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs, the Blue Jackets got off to a good start in Game 1, taking a 3-1 lead on a shorthanded goal by Derek MacKenzie early in the second period. However, the Penguins would quickly get back in the game with a pair of power play goals and went on to win the game 4-3. In Game 2, the Jackets would get off to a poor start, and trailed 3-1 after the first period. Columbus would cut the deficit to one goal on a shorthanded goal by Matt Calvert in the second period. They would tie the game on a Jack Johnson power play goal in the third period. In overtime it would be Calvert again, scoring 70 seconds into double overtime to give the Blue Jackets their first ever postseason win 4-3. At Nationwide Arena in Game 3, the Blue Jackets got off to a quick start as Boone Jenner scored 98 seconds into the game. They would add a goal by Jack Johnson and led 2-0, until Brooks Orpik put the Penguins on the board with two seconds left in the second period. Cam Atkinson would give the Jackets a 3-1 lead, with a goal at the start of the third period. However, the Penguins would rally to win the game 4-3, scoring three goals in just over two minutes. Perhaps feeling a hangover from their Game 3 letdown, the Jackets came out flat in Game 4 and found themselves down 3-0 midway through the first period. However, the Blue Jackets defense clamped down on the Penguins, as they chipped away at the lead, tying the game with 24 seconds left on a goal by Brandon Dubinsky. The Jackets would go on to earn their first home playoff win 4-3 on an overtime goal by Nick Foligno. Despite an early goal by Boone Jenner in Game 5, the Penguins dominated the game and retook control of the series with 3-1 win. Looking to close out the series, the Penguins jumped out to a 4-0 loss in Game 6 at Columbus. The Blue Jackets would not go down without a fight, as Fedor Tyutin scored a shorthanded goal midway through the third period. The Jackets would add goals by Artem Anisimov and Nick Foligno to get within one goal with just under five minutes left. However, they could not get the equalizer as the Penguins held on to win the game 4-3, as the appreciative fans gave the Blue Jackets a big hand as they left the ice for the final time in the season.
2014/15: After winning their first playoff games, the Columbus Blue Jackets looked to build and win their first playoff series, while Nationwide Arena prepared to host the NHL’s All-Star facilities. The Blue Jackets started the season with two straight wins, but soon began to deal with the injury bug as they endured a nine game losing streak that stretched into November. The Blue Jackets would suffer a 2-9-2 record in November, as Sergei Bobrovsky missed several games. Bobrovsky returned in December, and the Blue Jackets had one of the best months in franchise history, posting a record of 10-1-1. As January began the Jackets injuries continued to prevent them from making a real run at the playoffs. After struggling early in January, the Blue Jackets went into the All-Star Break with a record of 20-22-3. Nick Foligno served as the home team captain against Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, as the NHL’s All-Stars made their first trip to Ohio. Ryan Johansen was selected by his teammate and ultimately was chosen the All-Star Game MVP on a fan vote, as Team Toews beat Team Foligno 17-12. After the break Columbus continued to get bad breaks, with most of the team fighting trough injuries. At one point the Blue Jackets had 15 players on injured reserve as a league high 502 man games to injuries. Among the players who missed long stretches to injury were Sergei Bobrovsky, Brandon Dubinsky, Jack Johnson, and Ryan Murray. The Jackets finally got healthy as the season entered the final stretch in March, winning 15 of their last 17 games. However, the damage was done and the hole was too deep to climb out of as the Blue Jackets missed the playoffs with a record of 42-35-5.
2015/16: After a disappointing injury plagued season, the Columbus Blue Jackets looked to get back on track as they started the season at home against the New York Rangers. However, a 4-2 loss was just the beginning of another bad start for Columbus. The Blue Jackets would lose their next six games, leading to the dismissal of Coach Todd Richards just seven games in to the season. The losses were one thing, but Columbus failed to even be competitive in those seven losses as they were outscored 34-13. Looking for more discipline the Blue Jackets named John Tortorella to replace Todd Richards behind the bench on October 21st. The Jackets would drop their first game under Tortorella, losing to the Minnesota Wild 3-2. The Jackets would win their next two games, but the damage had been done as they finished October with a record of 2-10-0. The Blue Jackets started November strong, winning five of seven to start the month, but again slumped in December and went into the New Year holding a record of 14-22-3. As January began the Blue Jackets began to make changes, trading Ryan Johansen to the Nashville Predators for Defenseman Seth Jones. The trade did little to lift the Jackets into playoff contention as their awful start was too much to overcome. Columbus played well in February, winning seven games, but again struggled down the stretch and finished last in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 34-40-8.
2016/17: Success had always been just out of reach for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who had just two playoff appearances in their first 16 seasons. With John Tortorella leading the team from the start of the season, the Blue Jackets embarked on what would be the finest season in franchise history. Columbus started slowly, losing their first two games as they had a mediocre October, posting a record of 3-3-1. November is when the Jackets began to play winning hockey as they won seven of nine to start the month, posting a record of 9-2-3. On November 23rd the Blue Jackets were blanked by the Calgary Flames 2-0. It would be their last regulation loss until the New Year, as Columbus went on the best streak in team history, a streak that included a 16-game winning streak, with the only blemish a 2-1 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers on November 26th. After starting the New Year with a record of 26-5-4, the Blue Jackets streak came to an end on January 5th as they were blanked by the Washington Capitals 5-0. The Blue Jackets suffered their ups and downs over the next two months as they lost their spot on top of the Metropolitan Division. Columbus had a strong March and locked up their third postseason berth, as they would go on and finish the season with a record of 50-24-8, for the best season in franchise history. This would help John Tortorella earn the Jack Adams Award, given to the NHL’s Coach of the Year, while Sergei Bobrovsky won a second Vezina as the NHL’s Top Goalie. In winning his second Vezina, Bobrovsky had 41 wins, with 2.06 GAA, and .931 save percentage. Cam Atkinson was the Blue Jackets leading scorer with 62 points and a team best 35 goals, while Alexander Wennberg had a team high 46 assists.
2017 Playoffs: Despite their high level of success and having the third best record overall in the Eastern Conference the Columbus Blue Jackets had a tough first round draw in the playoffs against the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Things got off to a rough stat for Columbus as the Penguins poised for a long run, took the first two games at home by scores of 3-1 and 4-1. Needing a win at home in Game 3, the Blue Jackets suffered a gut wrenching 5-4 loss in overtime, as Jake Guentzel scored the game winner. The Blue Jackets would record a 5-4 win at Nationwide Arena in Game 4 to avoid a sweep. However, the Penguins were just too strong for the Blue Jackets to handle as they won 5-2 to eliminate Columbus in five games.
©MMXVIII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Hockey League. This site is not affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets or the NHL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on Page created on June 22, 2003. Last updated on April 10, 2018 at 11:30 pm ET.