What I found when I looked at the month by month point totals, is that this years edition of the CBJ are only 2 points off the pace from 2008-09. At the end of January that year, they had 53 points. At the end of January in the 2010-11 they have 51 points. Looking at the graph, with apologies for the quality of my printer, in 2008-09 the team picked up the pace in February, and acquired points at the greatest rate so far in the season. They held that pace through March, before tailing off at the end, and thus drawing the Redwings in the first round.
It is quite obvious that they need to kick it into gear to make the playoffs. The season that they made it, they were able to accomplish that feat. If I remember my history correctly, that run included some very improbable wins in a row, a win against San Jose, a win against Boston, and a win against Pittsburgh, all of who were either number 1 in their conference or the hottest team in hockey at the time.
To do it this year, the Jackets need to perform a similar feat, starting with a win at Detroit on Friday. From here on out the CBJ need to win 2 for every 1 they lose, or better. They just lost the one. On a positive note, they seem to play much better when Arniel has practice time with them. But I think it is premature to call the season, one way or the other at this point.
Go Jackets!! oops, forgot to shout. GO JACKETS!!!