The Columbus Blue Jackets sit in 12th in the Western Conference standings with 77 total points, which places them 10 points out of the eighth and final playoff spot with seven games to play.
So, for all intents and purposes, they find themselves missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
The Blue Jackets' 2010-11 season—their 10th anniversary season in the National Hockey League—started with so much promise. They posted an impressive 14-6-0 record during the first 20 games of the season.
However, the Blue Jackets nearly repeated the swoon of the prior season, a season in which they also came out of the gate with a nearly identical 12-6-2 mark.
They posted a dismal 6-14-3 mark from late-November through mid-January (Note: the Blue Jackets posted a 3-14-7 mark at this identical stretch during the previous season).
Then came another swoon as the Blue Jackets have since gone on a 2-8-5 spiral.
The team is searching for how this "roller coaster" of a season could have happened; particularly, their most recent struggles when contending teams rise, rather than fall, towards a playoff push.
They are searching for the reasons they missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season and for all but one of their seasons in the NHL.
With all that, here are the seven primary reasons as to how this happened: