The past few days Columbus natives have felt the cold sting in the air. Yes, we are squarely on our way to a showdown with old-man winter, and his frozen beard of ice and snow. With the summer lemonade slowly waning, and the late fall and early winter traditions beginning – I heard a Christmas song in Target over the weekend – Ohio natives say, “Welcome back!” to the capital city’s hometown hockey team: The Columbus Blue Jackets.
For those unfamiliar, the Columbus Blue Jackets joined the NHL in 2000 as an expansion team, the first team in Ohio since the Cleveland Barons left in 1978. Housed in Nationwide Arena, the addition of the Blue Jackets has helped revitalize the Arena District and have made the Jacket’s a pivotal part of Columbus culture.
Recently, the Blue Jackets have undergone major changes, starting with their front office, and the results have been nothing short of exciting. If only for the new adopted attitude of the Jackets, there is a new hype surrounding the Columbus hockey team, and while they are just one game below 500 this season, the new youthful exuberance has been fun to watch.
Last year the Jacket’s said, “Hiya! It’s good to meetcha!” to Columbus new comers, Marian Gabokrik, and Brandon Dubinski, both acquired from the New York Rangers. Both have greatly contributed already this season, with 10 points, and 8 points, respectively. In addition to some fresh new faces skating on the ice, Columbus also has quite the stud tending the net. Sergei Bobrovsky not only won the Vezina Trophy last season – given to the league’s top goaltender – but he was also named to the 2012 – 2013 NHL First All-Star Team.
Blue Jackets games are a great way to get through the dark, wintry months. The Arena District offers great food for dinner before or after the games, and Columbus nightlife is only a few blocks away if you choose to explore post-game Park Street. Starting on November 2nd, the Blue Jackets will have four straight home games ending on November 9th.