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East Update: Columbus crushes teams vying for miracle finish

Apr 6, 2014, 11:27 PM EDT

Columbus Blue Jackets' Ryan Murray, right, is congratulated by teammate Cam Atkinson after Murray scored a goal against the New York Islanders in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Sunday, April 6, 2014. The Blue Jackets won 4-0. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon) AP

There wasn’t a lot of noteworthy action in the Eastern Conference tonight, but the Columbus Blue Jackets victory over the New York Islanders had a significant ripple effect.

The Blue Jackets now have a 87.2% chance of making the playoffs, per Sports Club Stats. Consequently, the game was crippling to several teams still holding onto hope that they can make the playoffs:

  • That win, plus Toronto’s 4-2 loss to Winnipeg on Saturday means that even if Toronto wins its final three games, they will still miss the playoffs as long as Philadelphia goes at least 0-3-1, Detroit 1-3-0, and Columbus 1-2-1. Keep in mind that in all three scenarios, the Maple Leafs would lose the tiebreaker (wins minus shootout victories).
  • Things are nearly as bleak for the Washington Capitals, who have just a 36.2% chance of making the playoffs even if they win all of their remaining four contests.
  • With that in mind, the only team that has a real chance to come from behind and earn a playoff spot is New Jersey. Even then, the Devils will have a very tough time overcoming their three-point deficit against Columbus in four games.
  • Columbus’ win also put some pressure on the Philadelphia Flyers in the battle for the third seed in the Metropolitan Division, but Philadelphia responded with a win over Buffalo. Columbus might also overtake Detroit for the top Wild Card spot.

Here’s the updated Eastern Conference standings:


  1. billiam55 - Apr 6, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    happy to see the blue jackets make the playoffs. Boston is going to have an interesting first round.

    • mp1131211 - Apr 7, 2014 at 2:50 AM

      whoa… not so fast. blue jackets have 3 very tough games ahead of them while jersey plays the bottom feeders. I think this article is downplaying that possibility.

      • stratomaticfan - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:37 AM

        Bottom feeders? Like Boston?

      • govtminion - Apr 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM

        Well, Boston isn’t a bottom feeder, obviously, but they also don’t have anything to really play for at this point- so it’s possible Julien will rest guys like Chara and Iginla (more) over the next few days. So the B’s might not be the overwhelming force they have been over the past month or so.

      • mp1131211 - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:16 AM

        Next 3 games. Not four. Boston is 4th game.

  2. 13datsyuk13 - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    Go Wings!

  3. stcrowe - Apr 7, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    Considering the inept management of Scott Howson only ended about a year ago, I would say that the Blue Jackets are recovering pretty nicely so far.

    • govtminion - Apr 7, 2014 at 1:22 AM

      Totally agree. If not for the bizarre turnaround in Denver, I’d call the Jackets the most improved team in the NHL this year. Glad to see them turn the ship around- FINALLY.

      …that said, as a B’s fan, I’m understandably hoping that they don’t get their first playoff win until NEXT spring. 😉

      • jeffchadwick - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        Considering that A., CBJ missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker last year and B., they’re literally on the exact same points pace as last season, is this really a “turn around” per se? I think CBJ is who we thought they were.

    • beergold - Apr 7, 2014 at 6:00 AM

      Agreed and considering the never ending inept management of the the Toronto Maple Laffs they don’t deserve to stroll into the playoffs through the backdoor.

    • hockey412 - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      Isn’t it kind of the same team that Howson put together, though…aside from the Frattin for Gaborik trade?

      Wasn’t a fan of his, and I’m sure Columbus is better without him, just seemed that a lot of the stuff he took heat for doesn’t look quite as bad now. Dubinsky and Anisimov for Nash looks like a lop-sided deal in CBJ’s favor when you look at the numbers this year, regardless of what he might have been able to get.

    • agellings - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      Scott Howson doesn’t have a huge fan following in Columbus, but acquiring Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky, Nick Foligno, Jack Johnson, Ryan Johansen, Ryan Murray, Dalton Prout, Mark Letestu, Brandon Dubinsky, and Artem Anisimov isn’t exactly inept.

      They are the exact reason this team is vying for a playoff spot.

  4. slaugin - Apr 7, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Boston is playing them on the last day. Expect many top players to be rested

  5. exsane - Apr 7, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    I hope boston dosnt rest to many players. I think in hockey rest is bad. It may be only a few games or a few days but every time. Boston has goten rest, they come out playing slow

  6. dglelite - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    Washington is toast.

    Expect GMGM, Oates and his coaching staff to be gone at years end. I would also expect that a new GM may have a certain style in mind and most, if not all, players may be available for the right price.

    If they trade Green and amnesty Laich they will have over $20mil to retool. With more moves the opportiunity exists to retool and get more competitive without necessarily rebuilding.

  7. dmarado - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:07 AM


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