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.
Sunday night saw two games play out with an impact on the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Both games went to overtime. One of them went the Blue Jackets' way. The other did not.
Philadelphia clawed back from a 1-0 deficit to tie the Penguins on a James van Riemsdyk goal with 18.8 seconds to play in regulation. In overtime, Sean Couturier stunned the sellout crowd in Pittsburgh, potting the winner with just 3.4 seconds left.
The Pens saw their two points chopped in half in a matter of seconds. Philly… thank you.
Unfortunately, the Islanders found a way to top pesky Minnesota, 3-2, earning a tough two points on the road.
Here's where we stand on Monday, March 18.
|GP||GR||W||L||OT||PTS||ROW||STRK||L10||Make Playoffs [#]|
|NY ISLANDERS||72||10||42||23||7||91||38||W1||6–4–0||99.42% (+0.76)|
|WASHINGTON CAPITALS||72||10||42||23||7||91||38||L1||8–2–0||99.17% (-0.14)|
|PITTSBURGH PENGUINS||73||9||39||24||10||88||38||OT1||6–2–2||94.54% (+0.02)|
|x-TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||72||10||55||13||4||114||49||W4||8–2–0||100% (NC)|
|BOSTON BRUINS||72||10||43||20||9||95||41||W1||7–3–0||100% (NC)|
|TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS||72||10||43||24||5||91||43||L1||5–4–1||99.76% (+0.03)|
|CAROLINA HURRICANES||71||11||39||25||7||85||38||W1||7–2–1||94.58% (+0.13)|
|COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||72||10||40||28||4||84||39||OT1||5–4–1||75.87% (-0.72)|
|MONTREAL CANADIENS||72||10||37||28||7||81||35||L2||4–6–0||33.02% (-0.12)|
|PHILADELPHIA FLYERS||72||10||35||29||8||78||33||W1||6–3–1||1.79% (+0.05)|
With the win, the Islanders moved into the No. 1 spot in the Metropolitan Division, thanks to the NHL's fourth tie-breaker: New York has a +33 goal differential this season, topping the Caps' +23.
With the Penguins getting just one point, instead of the two that their awful fans probably thought they had coming, the Blue Jackets are just four points behind Pittsburgh for the No. 3 spot in the Metro. Oh, they have a game in hand on the Penguins, too.
Random aside: With their current total of 84 points, the Blue Jackets would own the No. 3 spot in each of the two Western Conference divisions.
Tonight's Games of Interest
|Home||Away||Who to Cheer for|
|TAMPA BAY (55–13–4, 114p)||ARIZONA (36–30–6, 78p)||Lightning. Get nice and overconfident, Bolts.|
There's only one game of note tonight, though it really doesn't have much of an impact on the Blue Jackets' playoff drive.
With a win over Arizona in Tampa Monday night, the Lightning can clinch the President's Trophy as the team with the most regular season points—before any other team in the Eastern Conference even clinches a playoff spot.
If the Blue Jackets do end up getting the Lightning in the first round, they better hope the curse is real.
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 the Islanders getting two points and the Pens getting one, the Jackets saw their chances at placing in the Metro slide a little, but as every game enters the books, their odds of grabbing a wild card spot improve.
Today's stress ball: Sean Couturier sends Pens fans home salty. Pssst… watch #87.