COLUMBUS, OHIO -- The 2013/14 NHL season kicked off with a bang for the Columbus Blue Jackets, as several Jacket players were showing signs of having breakout seasons. Here's a quick review of the some of the better performance leading into the Christmas break.

C Alexander Steen

Steen was without question the hottest player in the NHL for the first month, recording over a goal per game during October (10 games). While his pace has slowed, Steen is currently sitting second in goals scored with 22 in 33 games, behind only Alex Ovechkin. What's particularly impressive about Steen is that only 5 of his goals come on the powerplay, compared to Ovechkin's 12. While we wouldn't expect Steen to his 50 goals this year, just hitting 40 would make a big impact on the Jackets offense going forward.

C Frans Nielsen

Can you say underrated? This kid is the best kept secret in the league and was a point-per-game player in October. A short slump has seen his stats regress to 26 points in 35 games (due in large part to his useless linemates... I'm looking at you Michael Grabner), but with his usual top-notch defensive game Nielsen is projecting to rerate as one of the better second line centres in the league. Not bad for a guy who's price tag is $1.2M.

LW Lars Eller

Like Steen and Nielsen, Eller came flying out the gates and looking unstoppable in the early stages of the season. Boy did that ever change! Currently in the midst of his second lengthy pointless streak, Eller will have to kick things back into gear if he wants to see any real upgrades to his offensive ratings. 

RW Bryan Little

Acquired in early November, Little has been nothing short of excellent in the NHL. With 31 points in 36 games (and 23 in his last 24), the Jackets may have secured that elusive secondary scoring threat they've been lacking for years. 

G Ben Bishop

Prior to Stamkos' injury, the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning looked to be on cruise control and Bishop was accumulating the W's without too much trouble thanks to his team's potent offense. And while the Lightning's recent injuries have caused their goals-for to dry up, Bishop continues to impress and has stolen a number of games recently. There are even suggestions that he could be in the conversation when it comes time to picking a goalie for the U.S. olympic team.

-- BJ Express