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.
The Blue Jackets can take another big step towards locking down a playoff berth with a win in Nashville tonight (8 p.m., FS-O). Columbus will be going for a season-high fourth-straight win when they face the Predators, who are tied for fourth in the Western Conference with 94 points.
The teams have met just once before this season, with the Blue Jackets getting two points in Nationwide Arena thanks to an Artemi Panarin overtime winner way back in January.
In NHL action of note last night, those same Predators upended the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road, 3-1, to help keep third place in the Metropolitan Division alive for teams like the Blue Jackets.
That means the Preds are playing in back-to-back nights, with travel baked in, which should help the Jackets.
Here's where we stand on Saturday, March 30.
|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% (NC)|
|NY ISLANDERS||78||4||45||26||7||97||41||W1||6–4–0||99.92% (-0.01)|
|PITTSBURGH PENGUINS||78||4||42||25||11||95||40||L1||6–2–2||99.21% (-0.47)|
|(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% (NC)|
|CAROLINA HURRICANES||77||5||42||28||7||91||40||L2||6–4–0||86.43% (+0.12)|
|COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||77||5||43||30||4||90||42||W3||6–3–1||78.97% (+0.13)|
|MONTREAL CANADIENS||78||4||41||29||8||90||39||L1||5–4–1||35.48% (+0.24)|
|PHILADELPHIA FLYERS||77||5||37||32||8||82||34||W1||5–5–0||0.01% (+0.01)|
p - Clinched President's Trophy; x - Clinched Playoff Spot
The Blue Jackets remain in the first wild card spot, just one point out of WC1 and five points out of Metro 3 with five to play. Montreal is tied with the Blue Jackets, but with one fewer game remaining and the Jackets owning a hefty lead in ROW.
Tonight's Game(s) of Interest
|Home||Away||Who to Cheer for|
|NASHVILLE (44–28–6, 94p)||COLUMBUS (43–30–4, 90p)||The boys in white.|
|CAROLINA (42–28–7, 91p)||PHILADELPHIA (37–32–8, 82p)||Flyers. Jackets are battling to move up to WC1.|
|WINNIPEG (45–28–4, 94p)||MONTREAL (41–29–8, 90p)||Jets. Another loss could be near fatal for the Habs.|
|NY ISLANDERS (45–26–7, 97p)||BUFFALO (31–36–10, 72p)||Sabres. Buffalo is awful, but they could find a nut while blind.|
|TAMPA BAY (59–14–4, 122p)||WASHINGTON (46–24–8, 100p)||Bolts. Not much impact for the Jackets, but tune in for a great game.|
With a Blue Jackets win and a Hurricanes loss tonight, Columbus could wake up to find itself all alone in the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. And just three points out of third in the Metro with four games to 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
Pittsburgh's loss last night sees the Blue Jackets odds of finishing third in the Metropolitan Division take a jump.
Today's stress ball: Nathan MacKinnon has dangles for days.