The Chase is your morning report on where the Blue Jackets stand in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs race. What happened, what's next, and who to cheer for.
Well, the Blue Jackets did the dang thing, swarming Montreal goalie Carey Price for a massive 6-2 win over the Canadiens at Nationwide Arena Thursday night.
Oliver Bjorkstrand lit the lamp twice, Riley Nash scored a goal and—wait, Riley Nash scored a goal? It was that kind of night for Columbus, getting big contributions from outside of the top line, and treating the sellout crowd to a win in a game they absolutely had to win.
The Jackets have now won three in a row, outscoring those three opponents 15-2, and have seized the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
They also got some help from the Capitals last night, with Washington topping the Carolina Hurricanes in regulation, 3-2 on the way to locking up the first playoff berth secured by a Metropolitan Division team.
Here's where we stand on Friday, March 29.
|GP||GR||W||L||OT||PTS||ROW||STRK||L10||Make Playoffs [#]|
|(x) WASHINGTON CAPITALS||78||4||46||24||8||100||42||W3||6–3–1||100% (+0.03)|
|NY ISLANDERS||78||4||45||26||7||97||41||W1||6–4–0||99.93% (+0.31)|
|PITTSBURGH PENGUINS||77||5||42||24||11||95||40||W3||6–2–2||99.68% (+0.27)|
|(p) TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||77||5||59||14||4||122||53||W1||8–2–0||100% (NC)|
|(x) BOSTON BRUINS||77||5||47||21||9||103||45||W1||6–4–0||100% (NC)|
|TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS||77||5||45||25||7||97||45||OT1||4–4–2||99.99% (+0.02)|
|CAROLINA HURRICANES||77||5||42||28||7||91||40||L2||6–4–0||86.31% (-6.70)|
|COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||77||5||43||30||4||90||42||W3||6–3–1||78.84% (+27.19)|
|MONTREAL CANADIENS||78||4||41||29||8||90||39||L1||5–4–1||35.24% (-16.75)|
|PHILADELPHIA FLYERS||77||5||37||32||8||82||34||W1||5–5–0||0.00% (NC)|
p - Clinched President's Trophy; x - Clinched Playoff Spot
The Blue Jackets find themselves just one point out of the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, which means they're one point away from avoiding the dominant Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs.
With five to play, the Jackets hope to fend off Montreal, who they have a game in hand on, and catch the Canes. Remember, even if they tie the Hurricanes (or Canadiens), the Blue Jackets have a sizable ROW advantage over each of those teams.
Saturday night is another big one as Carolina hosts Philadelphia, Montreal travels to Winnipeg, and the Jackets are in Nashville.
Tonight's Game(s) of Interest
|Home||Away||Who to Cheer for|
|PITTSBURGH (42–24–11, 95p)||NASHVILLE (43–28–6, 92p)||Preds. Metro 3 is still in play!|
There's just one game with Eastern Conference playoff ramifications tonight as the Penguins host the Predators. We're always down to cheer on a Penguins loss, but the Predators can do the Jackets a favor here with the third spot in the Metro still in play.
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
Look at that green. Thursday night's win over Montreal was so big, the Jackets saw their odds to make the playoffs jump 27.26% according to Money Puck's model. Oh hey, check out that 20-point jump for their WC1 odds, too.
Today's stress ball: Are you kidding us, Connor McDavid?