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Previewing November

by Brad Friedman / Columbus Blue Jackets

Number of games: 13 (against 11 opponents)


Approximate number of miles to be covered: 5,490

2013-14 record of opponents: 452-302-128

Average point total: 94

2013-14 Columbus record vs. opponents:
19-12-3

2013-14 season sweeps
: One (3-0-0 against Tampa Bay)

Best 2013-14 record: Boston (54-19-9)

Worst 2013-14 record: Vancouver & Carolina (36-35-11)

Number of playoff teams:
Five

2013-14 Blue Jackets record in November: 6-8-2

Most successful November in franchise history: 8-3-0 (2010-11)

Key home dates: Nov. 8 vs. Tampa Bay (101 points last season), Nov. 15 vs. San Jose (third seed in West last season), Nov. 18 vs. Detroit (Former division rival)

Key road dates:
Nov. 14 & 22 vs. Philadelphia (divisional matchups)

What it all means: With six Metropolitan Division matchups on tap, the Blue Jackets cannot afford to have a sluggish month. However, since Columbus is spared from playing division leaders Pittsburgh and New York, November represents a golden opportunity for the Jackets to pick up crucial wins within the division. Five of the six divisional matchups will take place in opposing arenas and the young Jackets will get a hefty dose of hostile environments.

Though fewer than half of Columbus’ November opponents made the playoff cut last season, an additional four clubs finished within seven points of a wild card spot. Translation: plenty of quality hockey clubs lie ahead in the month.

If you include the Oct. 31 game against Toronto, Columbus faces five back-to-back Friday and Saturday night games with each of the pairs being split between the road and home.

Four of Columbus’ opponents – Philadelphia, Washington, Winnipeg and Nashville – allowed an average of 2.77 goals per contest, placing them in the bottom ten in the league in the category.

Combine those stats with a Columbus team that finished 12th in the league in goals per game – 2.76 – and the Blue Jackets could be up for a productive month offensively.
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