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.
The last 40 minutes was hockey you'd be just fine never seeing again, but the Columbus Blue Jackets came away with two more huge points Friday night with a 3-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Sergei Bobrovsky was magnificent, weathering Cane onslaughts in the final two periods, and finishing with a new club record for saves in a shutout with 46.
As a result, the Jackets jump ahead of Carolina in the standings, thanks to a two point edge in ROW, though the Hurricanes have a game in hand on Columbus. The Jackets have now won two in a row on the way to handing the Canes just their second loss in the last 10.
Here's where we stand on Saturday, March 16.
|x-TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||71||11||54||13||4||112||48||W3||8–2–0|
|TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS||71||11||43||23||5||91||43||W1||6–3–1|
|COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||71||11||40||28||3||83||39||W2||5–5–0|
In the only other game of note for Eastern Conference implications, the Philadelphia Flyers squandered a 5-2 lead to the Toronto Maple Leafs, falling 7-6 on the road. Toronto is now just two points off of Boston for No. 2 in the Atlantic Division, while the Flyers are seven back of the wild card. They're on death's door and knocking loudly.
The Jackets will try to go for their third win in a row tonight at Boston, with the Bruins bringing a three-game losing streak into play. However, the Bruins are a burly 27–7–3 at home this season. Oh, it's St. Patrick's Day weekend, too.
It's a full day of hockey with seven games tied into the Eastern Conference race.
|Home||Away||Who to Cheer for|
|BOSTON (42–20–9, 93p)||COLUMBUS (40–28–3, 83p)||The boys in white.|
|PITTSBURGH (39–23–9, 87p)||ST. LOUIS (36-27-7, 79p)||The Blues. You want Western teams to beat Metro leaders right now.|
|DETROIT (24–37–10, 58p)||NY ISLANDERS (41–22–7, 89p)||Red Wings. You want teams out of the playoffs to beat contenders.|
|MONTREAL (37–27–7, 81p)||CHICAGO (31–30–9, 71p)||Blackhawks. See either of the two above.|
|OTTAWA (24–41–6, 54p)||TORONTO (43–23–5, 91p)||Senators. Just for the Battle of Ontario lolz.|
|TAMPA BAY (54–13–4, 112p)||WASHINGTON (42–22–7, 91p)||Bolts. The Caps don't have the Metro wrapped up yet.|
|CAROLINA (38–25–7, 83p)||BUFFALO (30–31–9, 69p)||If Carolina could just go ahead and lose their last 12, that'd be great.|
Sizing this slate up, of course you need the Blue Jackets to get at least a point in Boston. Then, you have a chance with St. Louis in Pittsburgh, Chicago in Montreal, and Tampa Bay at home against the Washington Capitals.
The Islanders and Hurricanes will be favored over the lowly Red Wings and Sabres, but it's a Saturday night in the NHL, and anything can happen.
Today's stress ball: Let's watch Bob's herculean Friday night effort once more.