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.
Following a two-day break to travel west, the Blue Jackets face off against the Calgary Flames this evening (9 p.m., FS-O). With only 10 games to play, they're all big this time of the year and the Flames will certainly be a test.
Calgary saw a three-game winning streak snapped Saturday night in Winnipeg, but the Flames, already in the postseason with 91 points, have the league's fourth-best home record this season at 23–7–5.
The teams' only other meeting this season – in early December – was a wild one. The Blue Jackets went up 4-1 in the first minute of the second period, only to see the Flames put eight of the final 10 on the board to leave Nationwide Arena with a 9-6 victory. Cam Atkinson had a hat trick, squandered.
Here's where we stand on Tuesday, March 19.
|GP||GR||W||L||OT||PTS||ROW||STRK||L10||Make Playoffs [#]|
|NY ISLANDERS||72||10||42||23||7||91||38||W1||6–4–0||99.49% (+0.07)|
|WASHINGTON CAPITALS||72||10||42||23||7||91||38||L1||8–2–0||99.28% (+0.11)|
|PITTSBURGH PENGUINS||73||9||39||24||10||88||38||OT1||6–2–2||94.48% (-0.06)|
|p-TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||73||9||56||13||4||116||50||W5||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||99.77% (+0.01)|
|CAROLINA HURRICANES||71||11||39||25||7||85||38||W1||7–2–1||94.47% (-0.11)|
|COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||72||10||40||28||4||84||39||OT1||5–4–1||76.24% (+0.37)|
|MONTREAL CANADIENS||72||10||37||28||7||81||35||L2||4–6–0||32.82% (-0.20)|
|PHILADELPHIA FLYERS||72||10||35||29||8||78||33||W1||6–3–1||2.71% (+0.05)|
p - Clinched President's Trophy; x - Clinched Playoff Spot
With a 4-1 win over Arizona last night, the Tampa Bay Lightning clinched the Presidents' Trophy, hitting 116 points. No other team in the Eastern Conference has even clinched a spot in the postseason.
If there's a year to avoid the No. 1 seed, this is it.
Tonight's Games of Interest
|Home||Away||Who to Cheer for|
|CALGARY (44–21–7, 95p)||COLUMBUS (40–28–4, 84p)||The boys in white.|
|NY ISLANDERS (42–23–7, 91p)||BOSTON (43–20–9, 95p)||Bruins. Metro 1 is still in play, folks.|
|CAROLINA (39–25–7, 85p)||PITTSBURGH (39–24–10, 88p)||Tough one. Canes because Metro 3 is closer than Metro 1. Right now.|
|NEW JERSEY (27–37–9, 63p)||WASHINGTON (42–23–7, 91p)||Devils - and hopefully their AHL roster can pull off a miracle.|
|PHILADELPHIA (35–29–8, 78p)||MONTREAL (37–28–7, 81p)||Flyers. Habs are just three points back of the CBJ.|
|NASHVILLE (41–27–5, 87p)||TORONTO (43–24–5, 91p)||Preds just to watch the GTA melt down as the Leafs stumble down the stretch.|
Do we have a monster slate tonight. Four games, including the Jackets' tilt in Calgary, have an impact on the playoff race within the Metro Division. A fifth game pits two clubs chasing Columbus for the second wild card spot.
Here's how big tonight is: If the Jackets win and every other game breaks their way, Columbus could wake up two points out of the No. 3 spot in the Metro and just five points out of the No. 1 spot in the division. With nine games to play, that's a dream scenario.
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
Expect these numbers to jump if things go the Blue Jackets way tonight – in their game and in other games affecting the race.
Today's stress ball: Patrick Kane is an offensive wizard, but he'll never be a Selke candidate.