Friday, August 22, 2008

Chimera chipper about Jackets' outlook

From the Edmonton Sun:

Jason Chimera figures it's about time.

Since joining the National Hockey League in 2000, the Columbus Blue Jackets have yet to make the playoffs.

In fact, they're the only team in the league never to have played in the post-season.

"We've been close the last couple of years," Chimera said. "For whatever reason, it hasn't worked out. Last year we were pretty close up until the end. The year before we were also close.

"It is getting there. I think we made some good steps, I think. With these new guys, it might give us that extra push.

Chimera, 29, an Edmonton native currently taking part in Perry Pearn's three-on-three camp here, has been a member of the Blue Jackets for the past three seasons.

The former Edmonton Oiler scored 14 goals and added 17 assists as the Blue Jackets finished 13th in the Western Conference standings 11 points out of playoff spots.

This off-season the team made a number of moves in order to try and make up those points.

"I think we've made some good moves, brought in some guys that will help our competitive level," Chimera said.

"With (Kristian) Huselius joining us, that's another good dimension of skill. He's a guy that might be able to get (Rick) Nash the puck a little more where he wants to be.

"We got a few good defencemen and (R.J.) Umberger was a good pickup, too.

"It will be a little different look for us. It looks good on paper, so we'll see how the season goes."

Originally selected by Edmonton in the fifth-round (121st overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Chimera spent five years in the Oilers system before making his way to Columbus through Phoenix.

He's been a good fit with the Blue Jackets and is looking for big things this season.

"You always hope to contribute offensively a little more going into a season," Chimera said.

"You're always looking at that 20-20 mark, looking to get about 20 goals this year.

"I think I'm a guy that's getting better and better every year. So I just want to keep on building from that."

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