The Chase is your morning report on where the Blue Jackets stand in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs race. What happened, what's next, and who to cheer for.
The Columbus Blue Jackets held a 2-0 lead over the Calgary Flames for most of their game on Wednesday night, in prime position to bury their western conference opponent and start their road trip on the right note.
Fast forward 15 minutes and the Blue Jackets were walking away with 1/2 points in a very winnable contest. Come April, these are the games you look back on, kicking yourself that you didn't have that extra point.
Here's where we stand on Thursday, March 5.
|GP||GR||W||L||OT||PTS||RW||ROW||STRK||L10||Make Playoffs [#]|
|TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||66||16||41||20||5||87||33||39||L1||5-5-0||99.97%|
|TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS||67||15||35||24||8||78||27||34||L1||5-5-0||85.90%|
|COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||68||14||32||21||15||79||24||32||L1||2-4-4||41.00%|
|NEW YORK ISLANDERS||65||17||35||22||8||78||24||32||L2||2-6-2||61.80%|
|NEW YORK RANGERS||66||16||35||27||4||74||30||34||L3||6-4-0||25.00%|
p - Clinched President's Trophy; x - Clinched Playoff Spot
It's funny how these things work - even after the discouraging night, the Blue Jackets actually rose in the playoff rankings, taking over the first wild card spot, previously belonging to the New York Islanders.
When will these games in hand actually even out?! The Blue Jackets have three more played than the Islanders, and four more than the Carolina Hurricanes. All Metropolitan teams fighting for a wild card playoff spot are in action tonight - so let's check out who to be rooting for.
Tonight's Game(s) of Interest
|Home||Away||Who to Cheer for|
|TAMPA BAY (41–20–5, 87p)||MONTREAL (31–28–9, 71p)||The Lightning. Montreal is likely out of the race for an eastern conference wild card spot, but might as well keep them at bay as long as we can.|
|FLORIDA (33-26-7, 73p)||BOSTON (42-13-12, 96p)||Boston. The Panthers are alive and barely breathing, and with the Atlantic Division working itself out, Florida still has a shot at the wild card.|
|NY RANGERS (35-27-4, 74p)||WASHINGTON (40-20-6, 86p)||Ovechkin and the Capitals. They are front-runners to win the division right now, so their winning won't hurt the Blue Jackets. The Rangers losing, will, though.|
|PHILADELPHIA (39-20-7, 85p)||CAROLINA (35-24-5, 75p)||Philadelphia. The Flyers are on a seven-game win streak and are looking to establish themselves in a division playoff spot. Carolina is still a threat to a wild card spot, and have four games in hand on Columbus, so we need them to keep losing.|
|BUFFALO (29-29-8, 66p)||PITTSBURGH (38–21–6, 82p)||The Sabres. Since Buffalo is out of a playoff spot, them winning does nothing, and Pittsburgh losing is always a good thing.|
|OTTAWA (23-32-12, 58p)||NY ISLANDERS (35-22-8, 78p)||Anthony Duclair and the Senators, pull through for us, please. The wild card race with the Islanders will be a hot one down the stretch for the Blue Jackets, so we need New York to lose and lose some more.|
Just an absolute slate of games tonight. There's a big chance for some help to be given to the Blue Jackets tonight, but also a potential for everything to go horribly wrong.
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
The Blue Jackets are off until Saturday - so we will spend the next few days relying on outside help to keep them in the playoff hunt. Two points would have been nice last night, but as long as they are mathematically alive, we keep hope.
Today's stress ball: This was all of us last night.
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