The Columbus Blue Jackets didn't just qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and win their first two postseason games in franchise history against the favored Pittsburgh Penguins last season. They won over the city of Columbus by cultivating a blue-collar identity.
With the 2015 NHL All-Star Game coming to Columbus on Jan. 25, and the Blue Jackets looking to make the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time, the team has been embraced by the community in a way not seen since the inaugural season of 2000-01.
"They're a hard team to play against. They beat us more than we beat them last year," forward Scott Hartnell said of the Blue Jackets after being traded to Columbus by the Philadelphia Flyers on June 23. "It was always a tough game. You were always getting checked, you were always getting hit."