Yesterday the Columbus Blue Jackets released the preseason schedule for the 2015-16 season and it’s an exciting one. Four of the five teams they are set to face in the preseason made an appearance in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. One team has the brother of the Jackets newest captain on their roster.
The Jackets will play the Penguins twice in the preseason. Once at home (Sept 21) and once in Pittsburgh (Sept 26). What I always enjoy about watching the Penguins play in the preseason is the lack of Crosby and Malkin’s presence on the ice. When a team is constantly focused on what the stars of the opposing team can do they tend to forget to pay attention to the supporting cast. With both Malkin and Crosby likely sitting during this preseason game the Jackets can assess what kind of talent the Penguins have coming up the ranks.
The Jackets are set to play the St. Louis Blues (Sept 22), Minnesota Wild (Sept 24), and Nashville Predators (Sept 29 and Oct 3) during the preseason also. All of them are Western Conference teams which means the Jackets will only play each team a handful of times. Jackets fans will have a chance to see players they may not get a chance to see play come the start of the regular season.
On October 2nd, the Jackets and Sabres will meet for the first and only time in the preseason. It will be the first time the Foligno brothers play against each other with Nick Foligno donning the mark of Captain on his chest. It’s a chance for the Jackets to see how Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel match up with the rest of the NHL. This will also be the time when the Jackets get to see how Bylsma as coach of the Sabres compares to Bylsma coach of the Penguins.
Hopefully the regular season schedule will bring just as much excitement as the preseason schedule.