John Davidson saw a defense, so he saw a chance.
His instinct was accurate.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have a chance to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a top-10 defense and a goalie who should be a Vezina Trophy candidate.
They enter the weekend eighth in the Western Conference with 49 points, two more than the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars. However, both the Red Wings and Stars have two games in hand on the Blue Jackets, who have three more games remaining and can max out at 55 points.
"I was asked the question when I first got there, 'How do you compare this to what you went through in St. Louis?'" Davidson, the Blue Jackets' first-year president of hockey operations, told NHL.com. "I said, 'I think it's a little different because this team has a better defense.' You can see the strength of this team, aside from Bob [Sergei Bobrovsky], is the defense. This team has played to its strength, and that's its goals-against.
"Keep the puck out of the net, give yourselves a chance. Everybody has bought in."