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.
How awful was last night? Let's count the ways…
For starters, the Blue Jackets lost a tough one in Calgary, 4-2. Yes, the Flames might be the best team in the Western Conference, but the four posts the Jackets hit – and the empty nets they missed say these were two points that got away.
Montreal beat the Flyers in Philly, 3-1, meaning the Canadiens are just one point behind the Jackets for the second wild card spot. Washington trucked New Jersey, 4-1, to move back into the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, and then the Penguins and Hurricanes went to overtime, handing a point to each team, with the Canes ultimately prevailing, 3-2, for the extra point.
The lone bright spot? The Boston Bruins rolled the New York Islanders on the road, 5-0.
If you're scoring at home, the Blue Jackets lost in regulation and three of the four teams in front of them in the Metro standings secured at least a point.
Here's where we stand on Wednesday, March 20.
|GP||GR||W||L||OT||PTS||ROW||STRK||L10||Make Playoffs [#]|
|WASHINGTON CAPITALS||73||9||43||23||7||93||39||W1||8–2–0||99.88% (+0.70)|
|NY ISLANDERS||73||9||42||24||7||91||38||L1||5–5–0||98.84% (-065)|
|PITTSBURGH PENGUINS||74||8||39||24||11||89||38||OT2||6–2–2||95.08% (+0.60)|
|p-TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||73||9||56||13||4||116||50||W5||8–2–0||100% (NC)|
|BOSTON BRUINS||73||9||44||20||9||97||42||W2||7–3–0||100% (NC)|
|TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS||73||9||43||25||5||91||43||L2||4–5–1||99.48% (-0.29)|
|CAROLINA HURRICANES||72||10||40||25||7||87||38||W2||7–2–1||94.93% (+0.46)|
|COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||73||9||40||29||4||84||39||L1||4–5–1||63.30% (-12.94)|
|MONTREAL CANADIENS||73||9||38||28||7||83||36||W1||5–5–0||47.58% (+14.76)|
|PHILADELPHIA FLYERS||73||9||35||30||8||78||33||L1||5–4–1||0.74% (-1.97)|
p - Clinched President's Trophy; x - Clinched Playoff Spot
The Metropolitan Division is still very much fluid, with the Blue Jackets, Hurricanes and Penguins separated by five points with nine to play.
And look at that surge in the Habs' odds to make the playoffs. We have races on races, folks, and it's going to be fun.
Tonight's Games of Interest
|Home||Away||Who to Cheer for|
|WASHINGTON (43–23–7, 93p)||TAMPA BAY (56–13–4, 116p)||Bolts? Bolts.|
Just one game with an impact on the Metro race tonight with Tampa Bay visiting Washington. If you're into scouting potential first round opponents, the game will air nationally on NBCSN.
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
At this point in time, the Blue Jackets are looking at one of the wild card spots with an outside chance of sneaking into the No. 3 spot in the Metro. But as the number of remaining games disappear, these numbers can and will jump a lot.
The Jackets need points in the worst way, but here's some good news: Of the team's final nine games, only three feature opponents currently in a playoff spot – and the CBJ get two of those three games at home.
Today's stress ball: Man, the Blue Jackets really don't need the Hurricanes picking up points, but it's kind of fun to see the Pens blow late leads in back-to-back games.