Mar 25, 2014, 12:49 PM EDT
If the Jackets do end up missing the playoffs, they’ll no doubt be left kicking themselves for losing to Carolina at home last week and getting shut out by the Islanders on the road Sunday.
“These points are huge right now,” center Ryan Johansen said after the 2-0 defeat on Long Island. “Against a team like the Islanders, who are playing spoiler right now, it’s very frustrating. We’ve got to learn from it but we can’t dwell on this.”
Indeed, if the Jackets get a win tonight versus Detroit (on NBCSN), their playoff hopes will improve rather dramatically.
Combine that with free-falling Toronto being an underdog at home to St. Louis and Washington facing a tough matchup versus Los Angeles, and tonight could be seriously pivotal for Columbus, a much-maligned franchise that badly needs to make the postseason in order to regain a measure of respect in the local market.
Attendance-wise, the Jackets are averaging just 14,325 fans this season; only Phoenix (13,585) is lower than that.
Still, there remains a feeling that Columbus could be a great NHL town, if only the Jackets could become a perennial playoff team, as opposed to the one that’s made the postseason just once since entering the league in 2000.
Related: Columbus’ power play is just awful
- Panthers owners say they’re committed even though team has lost ‘tremendous amounts of money’ 1
- Update: Wild’s Harding out indefinitely with fractured foot 15
- Johansen heads home from Columbus as talks get even messier 14
- Kesler accuses Vancouver media of making up stories, ‘throwing people under the bus’ 18
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal 49
- Mike Yeo is pretty unhappy with Minnesota’s goalie situation 20
- Much to his relief, Lecavalier will start season at center 14
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands 61
- Advantage Kuemper? Harding on crutches after ankle injury 15
- Done deal, finally: Wings ink DeKeyser to two-year, $4.375M extension 11
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (61)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (54)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (49)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)