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.
It's another big Thursday around these parts as the Blue Jackets head to Edmonton tonight (9 p.m., FS-O) for a pair of points they absolutely need.
The Jackets and Oilers have met just once this season, earlier this month at Nationwide Arena. Edmonton spanked a listless Columbus that day, leaving town with a 4-0 victory. Both teams enter on a two-game losing streak. For the Blue Jackets, anything short of getting back in the win column will be a disappointment.
In NHL action last night, the slate featured only one game with a bearing on the Metropolitan Division playoff race. The Tampa Bay Lightning won their sixth in a row, slipping past the Washington Capitals in overtime. The Bolts improve to 2–0 against the Caps this season, with one game remaining between the teams.
Here's where we stand on Thursday, March 21.
|GP||GR||W||L||OT||PTS||ROW||STRK||L10||Make Playoffs [#]|
|WASHINGTON CAPITALS||74||8||43||23||8||94||39||OT1||7–2–1||99.86% (-0.02)|
|NY ISLANDERS||73||9||42||24||7||91||38||L1||5–5–0||98.80% (-0.04)|
|PITTSBURGH PENGUINS||74||8||39||24||11||89||38||OT2||6–2–2||95.17% (+0.09)|
|p-TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||74||8||57||13||4||118||51||W6||8–2–0||100% (NC)|
|BOSTON BRUINS||73||9||44||20||9||97||42||W2||7–3–0||100% (NC)|
|TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS||74||8||44||25||5||93||44||W1||5–4–1||99.92% (+0.44)|
|CAROLINA HURRICANES||72||10||40||25||7||87||38||W2||7–2–1||95.05% (+0.12)|
|COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||73||9||40||29||4||84||39||L1||4–5–1||64.28% (+0.98)|
|MONTREAL CANADIENS||73||9||38||28||7||83||36||W1||5–5–0||46.12% (-1.46)|
|PHILADELPHIA FLYERS||73||9||35||30||8||78||33||L1||5–4–1||0.65% (-0.09)|
p - Clinched President's Trophy; x - Clinched Playoff Spot
The Blue Jackets remain in the second wild card spot, three points back of Carolina for WC1 and just one point ahead of the Montreal Canadiens, who are also in action tonight.
The Jackets are five back – with a game in hand – on the Pens for third in the Metropolitan.
Tonight's Games of Interest
|Home||Away||Who to Cheer for|
|EDMONTON (32–34–7, 71p)||COLUMBUS (40–29–4, 84p)||The boys in white.|
|CAROLINA (40–25–7, 87p)||TAMPA BAY (56–13–4, 116p)||Kick that Hurricane ass, Seabass.|
|MONTREAL (38–28–7, 83p)||NY ISLANDERS (42–24–7, 91p)||Islanders to keep Montreal back of WC2.|
|NASHVILLE (43–23–7, 93p)||PITTSBURGH (39–24–11, 89p)||Predators. Metro 3 is absolutely still in play.|
|CHICAGO (32–30–10, 74p)||PHILADELPHIA (35–30–8, 78p)||A Blackhawks win would put the Flyers on life support.|
At this point, The Chase is all in on earning the Metro No. 3 spot, angling for a No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup with the New York Islanders. The Isles are in the midst of a fine season, but we'll gladly take the team that doesn't have an Ovechkin or a Crosby in the first round, over those that do—or worse yet, a team that has a Kucherov.
If the Blue Jackets can beat the Oilers tonight and…
- If the Canes lose to Tampa Bay… the Jackets will be one point out of WC1.
- If the Penguins lose in Nashville… the CBJ will be three back of the Pens for Metro No. 3 – and have a game in hand.
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
Not a ton of movement here with all but the Caps and Lightning in the Eastern Conference – two teams leading their respective divisions – with the night off.
Today's stress ball: Elvis Merzlikins is signed and the future in net looks bright for the Jackets.