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Push for the Playoffs: Blue Jackets need results

NHL Playoffs

CALGARY, AB - MARCH 04: Columbus Blue Jackets Left Wing Devin Shore (74) celebrates a goal against the Calgary Flames with Columbus Blue Jackets Left Wing Stefan Matteau (23), Left Wing Jakob Lilja (15) and Defenceman Scott Harrington (4) during the first period of an NHL game where the Calgary Flames hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 4, 2020, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Push for the Playoffs will run every morning through the end of the 2019-20 NHL season. We’ll highlight the current playoff picture in both conferences, take a look at what the first-round matchups might look like, see who’s leading the race for the best odds in the draft lottery and more.

The Columbus Blue Jackets dropped another key game in the Stanley Cup Playoff race on Saturday night by losing a 4-1 decision to the Edmonton Oilers.

It certainly was not for a lack of effort or chances.

They peppered Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen with 47 shots on goal, but were unable to beat him until late in the third period when the result was all but decided. With that loss they have just two wins in their past 14 games over the past month, and are barely clinging to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The past month -- and this entire season -- has been a tale of bad luck in Columbus.

The injury situation has been a never-ending run of madness and robbed them of some of their best players for significant stretches. Even with that, they have done an admirable job hanging in the race. Overall, their process has not been terrible despite the lack of results. They are on the positive side of the numbers when it comes to the possession game and scoring chances, and they have been in pretty much every game with a chance to win on most nights. Six of their 12 losses during this most stretch have come in overtime or a shootout (1-6 in games beyond regulation during that stretch).

As frustrating as it might be, there are a lot of positives to take from that. But that’s not going to be enough. They need wins, and they need them now.

Even though the Blue Jackets enter Sunday occupying a playoff spot, their current points pace and the number of games they have remaining (only 13; every team in competition with them has at least 15 games remaining) leaves their current playoff probability under 30 percent.

Assuming it takes at least 96 points to secure a playoff spot in the East, Columbus would need to go at least 8-4-1 in its remaining games to reach it. Only five of their remaining games are at home, and each of their next six games overall are against Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Boston, Washington, and Toronto. That is a brutal stretch they have to get through.

It all has to start tonight in Vancouver against the Canucks.



Bruins vs. Blue Jackets
Capitals vs. Islanders
Flyers vs. Penguins
Lightning vs. Maple Leafs


Blues vs. Predators
Oilers vs. Canucks
Avalanche vs. Stars
Golden Knights vs. Flames


Penguins vs. Hurricanes, 1:30 p.m. ET
Lightning vs. Red Wings, 5 p.m. ET
Golden Knights vs. Flames, 7 p.m. ET
Blues vs. Blackhawks, 7:30 p.m. ET
Wild vs. Ducks, 9 p.m. ET
Blue Jackets vs. Canucks, 10 p.m. ET
Avalanche vs. Sharks, 10 p.m. ET


Screen Shot 2020-03-08 at 1.01.25 AM

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via Hockey Reference)

Boston Bruins -- 100 percent
Tampa Bay Lighting -- 100 percent
Washington Capitals -- 100 percent
Philadelphia Flyers -- 100 percent
Pittsburgh Penguins -- 97 percent
Toronto Maple Leafs -- 75.3 percent
Carolina Hurricanes -- 70.4 percent
New York Islanders -- 65.2 percent
Florida Panthers -- 38.7 percent
Columbus Blue Jackets -- 28.3 percent
New York Rangers -- 23.9 percent
Montreal Canadiens -- 1.2percent
Buffalo Sabres -- Out
Ottawa Senators -- Out
New Jersey Devils -- Out
Detroit Red Wings -- Out


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PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via Hockey Reference)

St. Louis Blues – 100 percent
Colorado Avalanche – 99.9 percent
Dallas Stars – 97.9 percent
Edmonton Oilers: 96.9 percent
Vegas Golden Knights – 93.7 percent
Calgary Flames – 77.3 percent
Vancouver Canucks – 76.0 percent
Nashville Predators -- 46.4 percent
Winnipeg Jets – 40.4 percent
Minnesota Wild -- 40.2 percent
Arizona Coyotes – 26.0 percent
Chicago Blackhawks 5.3 percent
Ducks – Out
Sharks – Out
Kings – Out


Detroit Red Wings --- 18.5 percent
Los Angeles Kings -- 13.5 percent
Ottawa Senators -- 11.5 percent
Ottawa Senators* -- 9.5 percent
Anaheim Ducks -- 8.5 percent
Buffalo Sabres -- 7.5 percent
New Jersey Devils -- 6.5 percent
Chicago Blackhawks -- 6 percent
Montreal Canadiens -- 5 percent
New Jersey Devils** -- 3.5 percent
Minnesota Wild -- 3 percent
Winnipeg Jets -- 2.5 percent
Florida Panthers -- 2 percent
New York Rangers 1.5 percent
Carolina Hurricanes -- 1 percent

(* SJ’s 2020 first-round pick owned by OTT)
(** ARZ’s lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick owned by NJ. If top three, moves to 2021)


Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers -- 110 points
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers -- 96 points
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins -- 94 points
Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers -- 93 points
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche -- 90 points


David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins -- 48 goals
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals -- 47 goals
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs -- 46 goals
Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers -- 43 goals
Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers -- 39 goals

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.