Apr 27, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (71) and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) celebrate the win over the Nashville Predators at Nationwide Arena. Columbus defeated Nashville 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Metropolitan Division Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets

Over the next six days, I’ll look at each team that the Carolina Hurricanes will be joining in the newly formed Metropolitan Division.

First up are the Columbus Blue Jackets:

Before the start of last season, the Blue Jackets could have been considered the worst team in the NHL, but not anymore.

They finished tied for eighth place in the West, but fell to ninth because the Minnesota Wild had two regulation wins.

The Jackets’ offense has more depth than the club has ever seen with Marian Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky, R.J. Umberger, Artem Anisimov and just-signed Nathan Horton.

The defense is impressive also with Jack Johnson, James Wisniewskiand second-overall pick in 2011 Ryan Murray.

Sergei Bobrovsky earned 21 wins on his way to the Vezina Trophy. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In net is Vezina-winner Sergei Bobrovsky with reliable backup Curtis McElhinney.

The team is made up similarly to the Canes with a few strong offensive and defensive players in front of the team’s best player in net.

However, it’s also worth noting that the Jackets are a fast team. Gaborik is as fast as they come and the young depth players on the offense make up a quick unit.

The Hurricanes’ defense has to be aware of that when they play the Blue Jackets next season.

But if the Canes can get a few goals past Bobrovsky, they may find their night a little easier.

The Jackets play better with a lead and sometimes have trouble scoring. If the Canes can get a couple past their stonewall in net, it may disrupt the rest of the team.

But the Blue Jackets are not the same team as they were two seasons ago and will give the Hurricanes and other Metropolitan teams, problems in the 2013-14 season.

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