In terms of ‘best possible outcomes’ for the Blue Jackets playoff chances, Sunday could certainly use a do over. Steeped with anticipation over a solid rematch with the Predators, I sat and watched in utter disbelief as they slowly missed out on two points that many would believe were easily obtainable in this game.
Updated Standings including 2/26 games:
As you can see, the hit was rather harsh. Columbus failed to advance themselves to 70 points, which would have settled them two points shy of the 8th place Chicago Blackhawks. It comes as a rather clear reminder that no team will make this push easy for the Jackets this year.
Other games that mattered:
Blackhawks defeat Coyotes 4-3 (SO): Ideally, a victory by the Coyotes in regulation would have been preferable. At 75 points heading into Sunday’s game vs Chicago’s 70, it would be far more realistic to want Phoenix to carry on winning, and teams like Chicago to lose in the process.
Flames defeat Blues 1-0: While St Louis is only three points behind Columbus, it is not a matter of finishing ahead of them at this point. If Columbus wants to make the playoffs, the success of St Louis should be essentially irrelevant at this point. Calgary, sitting only three point ahead of Columbus prior to this game, would have done well to be defeated, keeping them only two wins away from being vaulted.
Ducks defeat Avalanche 3-2: With the Avalanche well out of a playoff spot at 59 points, it would greatly help the Jackets if they stole a few wins from conference opponents like Anaheim, who were only one point ahead of Columbus heading into this game.
2/28 Relevant games:
Blackhawks at Wild
Red Wings at Kings