Even though the Columbus Blue Jackets aren’t playing tonight, there are plenty of games that could have a major effect on them going forward.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have the night off tonight, however there are major playoff implications with nearly every game in the Metropolitan division at this point in the season. There are three games tonight that Jackets fans should be keeping an eye on.
1. Washington Capitals @ New York Islanders
More from Union and Blue
- Blaming Columbus Blue Jacket Players for Babcock Fallout is Unfair
- The Mike Babcock Experiment in Columbus Has Failed
- Blue Jacket Prospects Win Traverse City Tournament: Who Stood Out?
- Mike Babcock Resigns as CBJ Head Coach: Reaction
- New Claims Bring Higher Level of Concern to Babcock Situation
This game has the least implications for the Columbus Blue Jackets as both teams are currently ahead of the Jackets, however an Islanders win in regulation could be very beneficial for the Jackets.
If Washington loses in regulation they’ll be sitting on 79 points through 65 games, putting the Jackets four points down but giving them two games in hand over the reigning Stanley Cup champions.
As a result, the Jackets would be able to tie the Capitals when they catch up in games played, if they win both games in hand, making the race at the bottom of the division a four team race for a spot compared to a three team race which increases the Jackets odds of making the playoffs.
2. St. Louis Blues @ Carolina Hurricanes
This game is somewhat self-explanatory on how a Carolina loss would help the Blue Jackets, as it would create separation between Columbus and Carolina and send the points to the west. While a regulation loss would of course be ideal, any loss for the Hurricanes could be the difference between Columbus making the playoffs and not in a couple months.
3. Pittsburgh Penguins @ Buffalo Sabres
This game would be fairly similar to the Carolina game, with one slight change. The points would stay in the east if Buffalo were to win, however Buffalo isn’t much of a threat at this point since they’re struggling and falling farther and farther from a wild card spot.
The Columbus Blue Jackets may have tonight off physically, but mentally and statistically this is a very important night for the team in union blue.