As second training camp continues, the Columbus Blue Jackets prepare for the Qualifying Round where they will face the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Record: 33-22-15 81 points
9th Place in the Eastern Conference
In Columbus the Blue Jackets have the opportunity to make the playoffs against hub city host Toronto where they will look to be the ninth seed toppling the eighth seed Maple Leafs.
On offense Pierre-Luc Dubois would led the Jackets with 18 goals and 31 assists for 49 points, but it would be Oliver Bjorkstrand leading the team in goals with 21 (with 15 assists and 36 points). Gustav Nyquist (15g, 27a, 42p), captain Nick Foligno (10g, 21a, 31p), and Cam Atkinson (12g, 14a, 26p) will be looked to to pick up their game and contribute more offensively during this playoff push.
On defense Zach Werenski (20g, 21a, 41p) and Seth Jones (6g, 24a, 30p) would lead the charge offensively from the blue line. David Savard, Dean Kukan, Vladislav Gavrikov, among others will be looked upon to help shut down the offensive threats of Toronto.
Between the pipes Columbus has a very interesting situation as at the start of the season Joonas Korpisalo started the season as the number one goalie, but after getting injured midway through the season Elvis Merzlikins would emerge as a capable number one for the Jackets as well. In 35 starts for Korpisalo, he would go 19-12-5 with a 2.60 GAA and a .911 save percentage, and in 31 starts Merzlikins would go 13-9-8 with a 2.35 GAA and a .923 save percentage. How head coach John Tortorella will handle the goalie situation will be interesting to see come August 1st.