The next “new” opponent for the Buffalo Sabres is the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets skate into First Niagara Center on Wednesday November 21, 2012 – for their one and only appearance of the season.
The 2011-2012 schedule had the neighboring but different conference teams playing twice – with the affairs being split. Despite the fact that the Columbus Blue Jackets are the reigning joke in the National Hockey League right now – they actually outscored the Buffalo Sabres 7-5 and took them 1-1 last season.
Now – that dirty word pops back up in another article relating to the National Hockey League, but there are many in Blue Jacket circles that might just be hoping for a lockout for the 2012-2013 season.
Financially it would suck for a team that probably benefits there arena district by activating the life center of that part of the city 41 times a year. From a developmental standpoint, the Blue Jackets could be this lockout’s version of the Buffalo Sabres of the last lockout.
This however, comes at the expense of not being able to showcase the city and Columbus would be out any money they would have already spent preparing for the 2013 All Star Game, set to take place in Columbus on January 26-27th. This would be a slap for the city too as they have been trying for several years to secure such a bid.
For the fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets, much like the Buffalo Sabres – fans want to forget about last season as quickly as possible, and the only way to do that is to make it a footnote by playing the next season. If Columbus continues to struggle and mire in the basement of the league – it will get more painful for the fans. If they can some how turn it around and be a viable competitive team, then the pain will begin to heal.
With the loss of arguably their most notable and best player in Rick Nash – there is definitely some work to be one to consider the Columbus Blue Jackets a playoff contender. Not taking them seriously at any point in the regular season though and you could be scratching your head and wondering why you didn’t pick up those two points.