Mar 11, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT
OK, so an outright loss tonight in Columbus wouldn’t totally kill the Red Wings’ chances of making the playoffs for the 23rd straight time, but it would definitely hurt them. Badly.
Consider: if Columbus wins tonight in regulation, the Blue Jackets would move two points up on Detroit for the final wild-card spot in the East, with both teams having 17 games remaining. However, that lead would essentially be three points, because the Jackets would hold a 30-25 lead in regulation/overtime wins, the tiebreaker.
“Biggest game, really, if you think about it right now after losing that one to the Rangers,” defenseman Brendan Smith said, per MLive.com. “We need to take this one, especially if there’s a four-point swing.”
Indeed, if the Wings win in regulation, it puts Columbus in a tough position, though the Jackets would still hold what could very well be the all-important tie-breaker.
PS — No, we’re not convinced Tampa Bay is a lock for the other wild-card spot. Not the way the Lightning have been playing lately, that’s for sure.
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 22
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 21
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 33
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 20
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening 53
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 58
- Wilson signs with Preds, leaving just four arbitration cases to go 5
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million 62
- Deal with the Devils: New Jersey re-signs Larsson to six-year contract 14
- Stepan seeks $7.25M in arbitration, Rangers counter at $5.2M 24
- Post expansion, could NHL realign with eight divisions? (138)
- He’s baaaaaack: Leafs pull a stunner, hire Lamoriello as GM (Updated) (84)
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (67)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)