A little less than two weeks ago the NHL released the schedules for the 2018-2019 season. The Columbus Blue Jackets schedule like every team has important games and stretches. Some of the games or stretch of games listed will be just a good game for fans. While others listed will be key to Columbus trying to make it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a third consecutive year.
The Highlights of the Columbus Blue Jackets Schedule
Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 vs the Colorado Avalanche
Normally, the home opener is the first game to be listed in the top games. Nationwide Arena will be packed, there will be a lot of festivities and everyone will be excited for hockey to be back. However, the game right after opening night takes its place.
This off-season the Blue Jackets let a lot of players walk out the door and go to other teams. Included in those players was fan favourite Matt Calvert who signed with the Colorado Avalanche. Calvert’s hustle on the ice earned him the nickname Matty Hustle. Columbus fans already loved Calvert for his hustle but he became a fan favourite on Nov. 18th, 2016. During a game against the New York Rangers Calvert was struck in the face by a puck midway through the second period. Once he got back to the locker he would receive 36 stitches and come back to score a shorthanded game-winning goal. If that wasn’t enough for some fans to fall in love with Calvert his play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs should have been.
This will be emotional for everyone involved: the fans, the Blue Jackets, and Calvert. Calvert spent the first eight seasons of his career in Columbus. His homecoming is something that should be celebrated by everybody. The organization will most likely have a video tribute to him. This is a game long time Columbus fans should not miss.
Saturday, December 8th, 2018 vs the Washington Capitals
This will be the first-time reigning Stanley Cup Champions the Washington Capitals come to Nationwide Arena since coming back from being down two games in round one. Any time there is a weekend game the building is packed, throw in the fact it is against a team in the division and there will be even more people out to the game. Then add that this is the team that eliminated the Blue Jackets from the postseason after thety blew a two-game lead. Fans and maybe some of the players will be looking to get a little frustration out in this game. Expect the players and the fans to treat this like it is a playoff game.
Tuesday, February 26th – Tuesday, March 16th, 2019
This 19-day stretch will play a big factor on if Columbus makes it to the postseason and where the will be placed if they do. During this 19 day stretch, the Blue Jackets will play seven divisional games. Those are against the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes and three times against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins. Eight of the 11 games during the stretch will be against teams that made the Stanley Cup Playoffs this past season. This tough stretch of games will be the make or break point of the season for Columbus. It will show this teams true colours and will be a preview of what can be expected of the team for the rest of the season.
The first two-game mentioned are more just good games for fans to attend. These are games where the atmosphere will be great as well as the game itself. The last stretch of games mentioned will be a pivotal point in the season for Columbus. Out of their 11 games during that time seven of them will be home and the Blue Jackets will be looking for home ice advantage.
COLUMBUS, OH – OCTOBER 6: Matt Calvert #11 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates after the puck during the game against the New York Islanders on October 6, 2017 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)