Sports

Coming down the stretch, Blue Jackets pack on experience while playing pressure-packed games

  • Columbus Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky, left, of Russia, celebrates his shutout against the San Jose Sharks with Dalton Prout (47) and Nikita Nikitin, of Russia, after an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. The Blue Jackets won 4-0. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

    Columbus Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky, left, of Russia, celebrates his shutout against the San Jose Sharks with Dalton Prout (47) and Nikita Nikitin, of Russia, after an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. The Blue Jackets won 4-0. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)  (The Associated Press)

  • Columbus Blue Jackets' Marian Gaborik, right, of Slovakia, scores against San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, of Finland, during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. The Blue Jackets won 4-0. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

    Columbus Blue Jackets' Marian Gaborik, right, of Slovakia, scores against San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, of Finland, during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Columbus, Ohio. The Blue Jackets won 4-0. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)  (The Associated Press)

There are a lot of reasons why the Columbus Blue Jackets won't make the playoffs, and really only one why they might.

Last in the NHL not so terribly long ago, they've surprised everyone all season. Why not once more?

A cynic would point out they have too many road games (6) and too few at home (2); that the remaining opponents are daunting; and that there are too many good teams to overcome.

Yet after Tuesday night's 4-0 victory over San Jose, the young and restless Blue Jackets are just two points behind eighth-place Detroit with eight games left to play.

If they make it, or if they don't, the club figures to gain from the experience.