The Chase: The Blue Jackets Snapped the Penguins' Stranglehold and Moved Back Into a Playoff Spot

By 1OB Staff on March 10, 2019 at 7:45 am
Cam Atkinson had two goals in the Blue Jackets' 4-1 win over the Penguins Saturday night.

Jason Mowry-USA TODAY Sports

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The Chase is your morning primer on where the Blue Jackets stand in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs race. What happened, what's next, and who to cheer for.

Exhale.

The boys in blue got it done at Nationwide Arena Saturday night, playing a complete game on the way to dumping the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-1.

It was a rare big win in front of a sellout home crowd this season. Is this the spark that gets this team going? If 19–95–28 continues to click, it very well may be.

Here's where things stand on March 10, 2019. Your Columbus Blue Jackets are holding down the WC2 spot with a game in hand over the Montreal Canadiens, their biggest current threat.

  GP GR W L OT PTS ROW STRK L10
METROPOLITAN
WASHINGTON CAPITALS 68 14 40 21 7 87 36 W6 8–2–0
NY ISLANDERS 68 14 39 22 7 85 35 L1 4–5–1
CAROLINA HURRICANES 68 14 37 24 7 81 36 W1 7–2–1
ATLANTIC
x-TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 69 13 52 13 4 108 46 W1 8–2–0
BOSTON BRUINS 68 14 42 17 9 93 40 W6 9–0–1
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 68 14 42 21 5 89 42 W1 6–2–2
WILD CARD
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 68 14 36 23 9 81 35 L1 6–2–2
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 68 14 38 27 3 79 37 W1 5–5–0
MONTREAL CANADIENS 69 13 36 26 7 79 34 L2 5–5–0
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 68 14 33 27 8 74 31 W1 6–3–1

(Astute readers of The Chase will notice that's the first time the Jackets have been above the line of death since we started doing these. Party on.)

In other Eastern Conference games of note Saturday night, the Flyers dropped the Islanders, keeping Philadelphia's faint playoff hopes alive, and the Hurricanes beat a good Predators team on the road to move back into the No. 3 spot in the Metro Division.

We have two big ones on deck today:

Home Away Who to Cheer for
WASHINGTON (40–21–7, 87p) WINNIPEG (40–23–4, 84p) J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!
PITTSBURGH (36–23–9, 81p) BOSTON (42–17–9, 93p)  We're counting on Boston getting points in their 20th straight.

The Capitals and Penguins are two Metro teams currently ahead of the Blue Jackets in the standings, so any time you can get help from outside the division, you have to cheer for it.

Washington and Pittsburgh are both playing home games today, but they're drawing strong opponents, and in the case of the Pens, they'll get a ridiculously hot Bruins team less than 24 hours after taking an L in Columbus.


Today's stress ball: Cannon choreography has reached its final form.

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