City of Columbus Anticipating Blue Jackets Playoff Run
Since their inaugural season in 2000-2001, the Blue Jackets have only made one Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance. The Detroit Red Wings swept them during the 2008-2009 season and the city of Columbus has barely tasted what the NHL playoffs have to offer.
“I don’t want to say laughing stock but there is definitely a perception of Columbus as the little sister so to speak of the NHL,” said Shawn Mitchell, the Blue Jackets beat writer for the Columbus Dispatch. “I think people who really know hockey maybe think a little bit differently, but certainly that’s the general perspective. I think it has to due with the lack of winning over the past decade or so.”
Columbus was 5-12-2 on February 24, 2013. Alone in last place in the NHL standings, a spot where the city and the fans have been many times before. Since late February, behind the superb play of Vezina trophy candidate Sergei Bobrovsky, the Blue Jackets have had a remarkable turnaround story and are in contention for the playoffs.
“They (our opponents) know how well we’ve been playing over the last 25 games,” said veteran winger Vinny Prospal. “There is a buzz around the city and the fans, they know it.”
Michael Darr, Owner of R Bar in the Arena District is craving a post season run for the Jackets. “When the Jackets made the playoffs, this was the place to be. It was the most ecstatic I’ve ever seen a crowd. If Columbus were to make a long post season run, it would make Columbus a legitimate hockey market.”
“There are some great fans here,” said Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards. “There have been some real loyal fans here that have stuck with us through the hard times. Now that we’re in this spot, it’s great for the fans. This is what we’re paid to do.”
If Columbus were to make the playoffs, the impact would be influential for the city of Columbus from an economic and perception point of view. To accomplish this goal, they’ll need to take care of business against Dallas and Nashville in their remaining two games. They will also need from help from the hockey Gods to catapult Detroit for the final playoff spot.
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