The Jackets and the Stars game that was postponed due to Rich Peverley‘s health issues has officially been rescheduled for April 9 at 8:30PM in the American Airlines Center in Dallas. But what does that date mean for Columbus? The Jackets are in the tight Metropolitan Division Playoff race, and if Jackets fans learned anything last year it’s that the entire season can come down to one game. One game at the end of the season. Like, say, in April.
April 9 is the day after the last Jackets home game. The Jackets will face the Coyotes at Nationwide on April 8, and they finish out the season in Florida against the Lightning on the 11th and the Panthers on the 12th. Adding a game on April 9 won’t cause them to play three games in a row, which the NHL avoided with the rescheduling, but it will make for four games in five nights to finish out the season.
If the Metropolitan Division is as tight then as it is now, the Jackets could be put into a place where every two points are critical in those last five nights. Playing four games in five nights is not the way you want to finish out the season if you are in a battle for a Playoff spot because it’s so tight. Not to mention the last three games in the last four nights of the season will be away games. Doesn’t help much.
But, there is some good to come out of the April 9 date. As mentioned, it is likely that the two points up for grabs in Dallas that night will be critical ones for the Jackets. The game is so late in the season that those points could be make-or-break points for Columbus. And the Jackets will be starting the game winning. The NHL decided that the Jackets and Stars will play a full 60-minute game, but the goal by Nathan Horton will remain on the scoreboard. Thus, the Jackets are going into a full game already ahead 1-0. Does this mean the Jackets can sit back and expect to win? Of course not, but a one-goal cushion certainly helps going into a critical game.
So, overall, the rescheduling of the Dallas game for April 9 will mean the Jackets will finish the season with an absolutely loaded schedule, but it also means they will go into a possibly critical game in the season already ahead by one goal. How much all of this matters will be determined by the Jackets’ place in the standings come April, but if I had to guess I’d say this might be one of the most important games the Jackets will see this season.
Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets