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Not so long ago the dregs of the NHL, Columbus Blue Jackets now earn respect with edgy play

Not so long ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets had the worst record in the NHL, just as they did last season.

Then goalie Sergei Bobrovsky began blocking every shot that came close to him and the Blue Jackets started pushing back against teams that had been dominating them.

Now they're on a franchise-record nine-game points streak and shockingly find themselves within range of a playoff spot as the condensed season winds down.

Through Thursday's action, the Blue Jackets had 26 points and were just four points out a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference — which they are playing in for the final time before a much anticipated and long awaited jump to the East next season.

A year of transition has suddenly become a season of hope.