Aside from maybe the Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers,* the Columbus Blue Jackets might just be the NHL’s most seasoned spoilers. Well, that’s at least true from a sheer experience standpoint as Columbus has only made the playoffs once in its sorry run, but they haven’t always been much of a headache for contenders hoping to stock up on points.
They’ve been far from a pushover lately, however.
Ever since March began, the Blue Jackets have been a pain in the neck to teams that really need every standings point. They beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 last Thursday, won back-to-back games against the Phoenix Coyotes and helped Jack Johnson extract what must have been a bitter bit of revenge from a Los Angeles Kings team that flippantly traded him away. Johnson and the Blue Jackets earned a 3-1 win against the Kings tonight.
That’s a four-game winning streak against squads that were taking those games very seriously. The Blue Jackets are also 4-1-0 since the trade deadline, with only a loss to the Detroit Red Wings to muck up the good times.
While tonight’s win was all about Johnson – who might as well have taunted Kings GM Dean Lombardi upon scoring a goal – one cannot help but wonder if the franchise might try to finish strong to help mend the fences with Rick Nash. Look, I’ll admit that’s a far-fetched idea, but aside from the delightful spiteful task of spoiling other teams’ playoff runs, it’s at least a carrot to dangle in front of a team that’s playing for little more than dignity right now.
In other words, the St. Louis Blues might not want to take their upcoming home-and-home with the Blue Jackets too lightly.
* Masochistic Toronto Maple Leafs fans might also demand their team’s inclusion in the perpetual spoilers club.