With two games to go in the regular season, the Blue Jackets are fighting for their playoff lives. They currently hold the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference but have no margin for error. The CBJ, with 94 points, are tied with Montreal but own the ROW (Regulation and Overtime Wins) tie-breaker over the Canadiens. The Jackets are also just a point behind Carolina in the battle for the first Wild Card spot which would mean a first round playoff match-up against Washington, rather than Tampa Bay, who has had a historic season, becoming just the third team in NHL history to win 60 games.
The Jackets return to action Friday at the New York Rangers, then close out the season Saturday at Ottawa. If they win both, they are in the playoffs regardless of what Montreal does. There will be scoreboard watching going on Thursday. Montreal plays at Washington and Carolina hosts New Jersey. If Montreal loses, the Jackets will head to the final weekend knowing they need only one win to get in but if Montreal wins, and then wins again Saturday against Toronto, the Jackets must win twice to get in. That's provided Carolina takes care of business. They're expected to Thursday against a struggling New Jersey team. Carolina closes out the season on the road Saturday at another non-playoff team in Philadelphia.
We talked Wednesday, after the Jackets 6-2 loss to Boston, with Fox Sports Ohio Blue Jackets analyst Jody Shelley. Jody talked at length about the Jacket loss to Boston, the task ahead, the challenge of making the playoffs in the East and more. Great conversation with Jody, as always. You can check it out here.