After a stretch of a few nights where outcomes simply were not doing any favours for the Blue Jackets, Monday night finally showed some promise. As the race continues to simmer in the Western Conference, Columbus still remains four points out of a playoff spot with a game or two in hand on most of the teams involved in the race.
Tonight will mark an extremely large challenge for the club. Playing the Western Conference leading Vancouver Canucks IN Vancouver will be an extremely important game for both the team mentality, and a test for what could very well be a first round opponent for the Jackets this year. Inserting Rivet as the 6th defensemen with Stralman down should be a nice shakeup for the defense, as I assume the newly acquired Lepisto and Upshall will not dress with the team until the Edmonton game Thursday.
In any case, here are the updated standings:
Results from Monday, 2/28:
Chicago defeats Minnesota 4-2: In another game where 0 points would have been the favourable award, this was the kind of game where simply not going to overtime would be a benefit for Columbus. In any case, an odd-man break leading to the 4-2 cushion short handed with just over a minute remaining gave Chicago the win, and a boost into a tie for 5th at 74 points.
Detroit defeats Los Angeles 7-4: In a very awkwardly one sided game (7-1 at one point), Detroit took full advantage of the Kings somewhat mediocre defensive effort, and poured on the offense. At 84 points, it benefits Columbus for Detroit to steal points from Western foes, as they could very well be out of reach at this point. In any case, LA remains at 74 points, tied for 5th.
Games that matter - 3/1:
Calgary at St Louis
Dallas at Phoenix
Nashville at Edmonton
Columbus at Vancouver
Colorado at San Jose
I'ts a night of underdogs, and I for one will be glued to the TV. Carry the Flag!