Here are the latest random thoughts from Blue Jackets broadcaster Bob McElligott...
With the schedule coming out last Friday, it’s fun to analyze the path that the Blue Jackets are going to have to take to make it to the play-offs. Elsewhere on this site, they’ve already broken down the must-see home games on the schedule.
2013-14 Blue Jackets Schedule
I figured I would change it up a bit and pick out some essential road games for you. Since I call the games on radio and not TV, I have to call this list:
Bobby Mac’s Top 10 "Must Listen" Games
Just going through the schedule month-by-month, here’s how I see it:
1.Oct. 15 at Detroit – The Blue Jackets had good success at Joe Louis Arena last year and it’s the first time they’ll see their longtime Central Division nemesis in 2013-14.
2.Oct. 19 at Washington – This game wraps up a three-game road trip and is the first meeting of the year with Alex Ovechkin and the high-flying Capitals.
3.Nov. 1 at Pittsburgh – Not only is this the first regular season match-up with the Penguins, it’s also the first part of a home and home series that concludes the next night at Nationwide Arena.
4.Nov. 25 at Toronto – Playing in Toronto is special for all players, but even more so for the Canadian players on the roster. It is the centre (like my Canadian spelling?) of the hockey universe. Just ask anyone who lives there.
5.Dec. 12 at NY Rangers – Even though Rick Nash and company will play at Nationwide Arena on Nov. 7, Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov won’t return to the Big Apple until this game. Tim Erixon will be excited too.
6.Dec. 19 at Philadelphia – Sergei Bobrovsky returns to face the team that opted to trade him while wasting millions of dollars on a replacement who’s no longer there. Think Bob might want to stick it to some people in this game?
7.Jan. 4 at St. Louis – There is something about playing the Blues in their own barn. They tend to be a lot tougher at home and more willing to throw the body around. The Blue Jackets will be facing a hard fought battle here, but one they know how to win.
8.Feb. 6 at Los Angeles – There’s just something these two teams don’t like about each other. That’s what makes it fun to watch them play. The Blue Jackets will come into this game pretty well rested with two days off prior to playing.
9.Feb. 27 at New Jersey – There will not have been any NHL hockey for almost three weeks because of the Olympic break. You’ll need to get your fix in this game, which should start an exciting second-half schedule.
10.Mar. 8 at Nashville – For years, it was tough for the Blue Jackets to win in Nashville. Now that they’ve started to figure it out, they only get one chance to do it each year. Here’s that chance.
I’m sure you’ll have opinions on other games I could’ve picked, like something later in the season as the team pushes towards the post-season. The fact of the matter is though, it’s my blog. You can argue if you like, but you can’t win.
On a serious note, looking at this schedule just raises the excitement level for the upcoming season. And it’s still only July!