NHL Power Rankings Week One: Capitals, Lightning, Predators, And Ducks Are Favorites

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Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Power Rankings: #14 – Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets improved their team quite a bit this offseason and should contend for a playoff spot in the NHL.

STRENGTHS: The Jackets have an extremely impressive scoring line of Nick Foligno, Ryan Johansen, and Brandon Saad. They absolutely tore it up during the preseason. Saad gives Columbus a proven winner who has already won two Stanley Cups. Saad’s success in Chicago came while playing alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. Foligno and Johansen are not as good as them, but they’re still pretty good.

They have nice forward depth. I’m a huge fan of Brandon Dubinsky and Scott Hartnell. They’re the type of players that you absolutely hate playing against, but love if they’re on your team. Sergei Bobrovsky is a borderline elite goaltender who is capable of masking a lot of Columbus’s flaws.

WEAKNESSES: I really don’t like their bottom six forwards. Gregory Campbell and David Clarkson are horrible players. Their third and fourth lines are going to force the Blue Jackets to rely pretty heavily on their top two forward lines. Their blue line is very mediocre. Jack Johnson and David Savard are their only two reliable defensemen. Fedor Tyutin and Ryan Murphy will be relied on to produce when they haven’t shown the ability to produce in the NHL.

OUTLOOK: The Blue Jackets are an NHL team that have issues. They have an excellent scoring line and an elite goaltender. That should be enough to mask those flaws and get to the playoffs.

Next: #13