COLUMBUS AND MINNESOTA COLLIDE DURING WIN STREAKS
Forget that both teams lost in the first round of the playoffs. Because at one point, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild were the two most unstoppable teams in the NHL. The expansion cousins met up on New Year’s Eve at the height of their power, with Columbus riding a 14-game winning streak and Minnesota on a 12-game run. The Blue Jackets found success thanks to coach John Tortorella’s pre-season conditioning regimen, not to mention the sensational play of rookie defenseman Zach Werenski and a return to Vezina Trophy form from goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Meanwhile, Minnesota countered with its own ace goalie in Devan Dubnyk plus a new lease on life under coach Bruce Boudreau. In the end, Columbus took the showdown 4-2, with Cam Atkinson leading the charge with two goals. The Blue Jackets would make it to 16 straight wins, falling one short of tying the NHL record set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins. The Washington Capitals thumpedColumbus 5-0 to end the run.