Apr 28, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (71) celebrates his 3rd period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game six of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. The Penguins won the game 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Former Blue Jackets winger impressed by current team

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The Columbus Blue Jackets won their first two playoff games in franchise history last season, but the team isn’t satisfied. They made a big trade for Scott Hartnell and can look forward to the return of Nathan Horton, who spent most of last season on the IR. The team appears to be in the Eastern Conference playoff picture to stay, and former Jackets winger Frederick Modin likes what he sees.

“[I was] impressed with how the team came together and seemed to find their identity during the run last year,” Modin told ESPN.com. “The team has lots of young talented players with limited experience that played big roles during the Pittsburgh series. Going through that will make them stronger both as individuals and as a team.”

Name a major Cup contender and look back far enough and you’ll see a team that got snuffed out in the playoffs a year or two before they finally pushed through to the championship. In the NHL playoffs, you have to take your lumps and learn from them if you want to go on to bigger and better things next year. That’s what Modin believes and that’s what the team hopes to achieve in 2014.

The Blue Jackets are on the rise and in a wide open Eastern Conference, it’s not crazy to assume the team can once again make the playoffs and win their first playoff series in franchise history.

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