The Chase: The Blue Jackets Slide into the First Wild Card Spot As Saturday Features Seven Games That Will Shape the Playoff Picture

By 1OB Staff on March 16, 2019 at 7:45 am
Brad Marchand and Nick Foligno will tangle again tonight.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports


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.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS 71 11 42 22 7 91 38 W1 8–2–0
NY ISLANDERS 70 12 41 22 7 89 37 W2 6–4–0
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 71 11 39 23 9 87 38 W3 7–1–2
x-TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 71 11 54 13 4 112 48 W3 8–2–0
BOSTON BRUINS 71 11 42 20 9 93 40 L3 7–2–1
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
CAROLINA HURRICANES 70 12 38 25 7 83 37 L1 7–2–1
MONTREAL CANADIENS 71 11 37 27 7 81 35 L1 4–6–0
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 71 11 34 29 8 76 32 L2 6–3–1

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.