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 Columbus Blue Jackets are still right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, and it's thanks to performances like we saw last night in Boston.
The Jackets' 2-1 overtime loss to the Bruins was good for a hard-earned point in a tough building to get points in. Columbus pocketed five points out of a grueling three-game run that featured the Bruins twice and the surging Carolina Hurricanes once.
Better yet, the top three teams in the Metropolitan Division as well as the Montreal Canadiens, who were tied with the Blue Jackets for a wild card spot just a few days ago, all lost.
Tampa Bay rolled Washington, 6-3, the lowly Red Wings dispatched the Islanders, 2-1, the Blues throttled the Penguins, 5-1, in Pittsburgh, and the Blackhawks took care of the Habs, 2-0, earning a win for the first time this season in a game in which Patrick Kane failed to record a point.
All in all, a damn good night for the Blue Jackets.
But it wasn't perfect. The Carolina Hurricanes, thick in a wild card position battle with the Jackets, topped the Sabres, 4-2.
Here's where we stand on Sunday, March 17.
|GP||GR||W||L||OT||PTS||ROW||STRK||L10||Playoff Odds [#]|
|x-TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||72||10||55||13||4||114||49||W4||8–2–0||100%|
|TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS||72||10||43||24||5||91||43||L1||5–4–1||99.73%|
|COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||72||10||40||28||4||84||39||OT1||5–4–1||76.59%|
With 10 to play for most teams, the Blue Jackets have a three point lead over the Canadiens for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Jackets are one back of the Canes – though Carolina has a game in hand – for the first wild card spot, and just three points back of the Penguins for the No. 3 spot in the Metro.
Sunday night features just two games with an impact on the playoff race in the east.
|Home||Away||Who to Cheer for|
|MINNESOTA (34–30–8, 76p)||NY ISLANDERS (41–23–7, 89p)||Wild. Western team vs. Eastern contender = no brainer.|
|PHILADELPHIA (34–29–8, 76p)||PITTSBURGH (39–24–9, 87p)||Flyers. Philly has faded in the WC race, so it's back to cheering for them.|
The Blue Jackets, off until Tuesday, can get help from other teams tonight and tomorrow. We're thinking Metro positioning at this point, so any time you can pull for a team to beat one of the leaders in the Metro, you have to do it.
Blue Jackets Playoff Odds
|Make It In||2nd Rnd||Conf. Finals||SC Finals||Win SC||Win Metro||2nd Metro||3rd Metro||WC1||WC2|
Odds courtesy of MoneyPuck.com
With five points in three games, the Blue Jackets playoff odds are trending way up. It will be near impossible for this team to win the Metro with just 10 games remaining, but there's still a chance to finish in the top three.
Today's stress ball: Matt Duchene is silky.