NHL Metropolitan Division Power Rankings: Capitals Are Elite

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Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Metropolitan Division Power Rankings: #8 – Columbus Blue Jackets

Coming in at number eight in this week’s division power rankings is a team that nobody thought would be in last place: the Columbus Blue Jackets. Last season, the Blue Jackets contended for the playoffs despite suffering countless injuries. They built momentum for the 2015-2016 season by finishing last season on an extremely impressive run.

They made one of the biggest splashes of the offseason by taking advantage of the Chicago Blackhawks and their salary cap situation by trading for forward Brandon Saad. Saad joined an already impressive forward group led by Ryan Johansen, Nick Foligno, Scott Hartnell, and Brandon Dubinsky. This led to many pundits (including ourselves) believing that they would be a playoff team.

SEE ALSO: Scouting The Blue Jackets

They failed to address their defense this offseason. Columbus trusted that their current group of defensemen would be good enough. That has definitely not been the case so far. Jack Johnson has struggled as a top pairing defenseman. Ryan Murphy has been asked to be what he is not: a top four defenseman. Worst of all, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been horrendous and unable to mask his team’s flaws.

They started with a 0-8-0 start. That led to former head coach Todd Richards being fired. They hired John Tortorella to replace him and hopefully light a fire under the team to get them back in the playoff race. They own a 1-1-0 record with him so far. They face an uphill battle to get back into the NHL playoffs. A playoff berth wouldn’t be impossible, but it is highly unlikely.

Next: #7: Carolina Hurricanes