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2014-15 Schedule Preview: March & April

by Brad Friedman / Columbus Blue Jackets

Number of games: 21 (10 home, 11 away against 16 opponents)

Approximate number of miles to be covered: 12,462

2013-14 record of opponents: 641-506-165

Average point total: 90.43

2013-14 Columbus record vs. opponents: 24-22-3

2013-14 season sweeps: One (2-0 vs. Toronto)

Best 2013-14 records: Anaheim (54-20-8), Colorado (52-22-8)

Worst 2013-14 records: Buffalo (21-51-10), Edmonton (29-44-9)

2014 Columbus record in March & April: 14-7-2

Most successful March & April in franchise history: 2013 (19-5-4, 42 pts)

Key home matchups: Mar. 3 vs. Washington, Mar. 7 vs. Colorado, Mar. 24 vs. Anaheim, Apr. 4 vs. Pittsburgh, Apr. 10 vs. Buffalo.

Key road matchups: Mar. 1 vs. Pittsburgh, Mar. 6 vs. New Jersey, Mar. 12 vs. Detroit, Apr. 6 vs. New York Rangers, Apr. 11 vs. New York Islanders.

What it all means: From three division champions to three of the league’s bottom teams the year before, the final playoff push holds a wide spectrum of opponents. By this point of the season, some clubs will be playing for playoff positioning, others for pride alone, and several for a chance to crawl into the postseason.

Over the course of the past three seasons, Columbus March-April finishes have been amongst the best in the league. 44 of the 70 games over that time period resulted in two points for the Jackets with an additional six games adding one point to the point total. Last season, seven of Columbus’ 14 wins late-season wins came against playoff-bound teams, proving that the Jackets have the ability to earn their way into the postseason.

With that in mind, four of the Blue Jackets’ final six games are against teams that missed the playoffs in 2013-14, and four of the six will be played within the friendly confines of Nationwide Arena.

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