The Columbus Blue Jackets have climbed to second in the Metro Division after three straight wins, including two over division opponents.
Contender Week 2019 was a smashing success for the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team rallied after a miserable start to the week where they lost 4-0 to the Lightning and lost their top goaltender to win their next three straight.
Two of those three wins came against Metro Division opponents which helped them climb from second to third in the division standings as the Metro heats up. Although the Metro was mocked at the beginning of the season for it’s lack of quality, it has emerged as a top flight division with an intense fight for the top three spots.
The Jackets win over the Capitals on the road was great for the CBJ but the defending Stanley Cup champs still got a point out of the ordeal. The Caps are 6-2-2 in their last ten games and are still up on the Jackets by two points with a game in hand. The overtime point helped the Caps stay up in the standings with 59 points but the Jackets are within striking distance.
Columbus was able to jump the Penguins this week even though Pittsburgh is still red hot. Even though they are 8-2-0 in their last ten, the Pens dropped to third with 56 points in 45 games.
The surging Islanders had a great week including a big 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning to continue their climb in the standings. They currently sit in a wild card spot with 54 points and a game in hand on both the Pens and Jackets.
It looks like that these four Metro teams will be battling for position for the remainder of the season but there is one other team with an outside chance of making some noise.
The Carolina Hurricanes are doing their best to fight back into the race as they have won seven of their last ten to get to 49 points overall. The Hurricanes are only four points out of the last wild card slot with a game in hand on the eighth place Montreal Canadiens.
The Columbus Blue Jackets face a manageable schedule this week before they hit their All-Star and midseason break that totals nine days off. They play bottom feeder New Jersey, the eighth place Canadiens and the up and down Minnesota Wild. The Capitals have six games left before the All-Star break so they will likely still have the division lead but it will be very close.