Apr 6, 2014, 11:27 PM EDT
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:
- Happy returns: Datsyuk plays for Detroit 0
- Gearing up: Malkin, Hornqvist return for Pens 0
- The King is back: Lundqvist starts for Rangers Saturday 7
- Five big games to watch this weekend 7
- Video: Kessel, Booth get into altercation at Leafs practice 34
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 29
- After Howard fails to ‘bounce back,’ Mrazek to receive ‘opportunity’ 36
- Bruins can’t hold Ducks off, suffer sixth loss in a row 32
- Ticket punched: Rangers become first team to clinch 2015 playoff berth 16
- Coyotes ‘win’ against Sabres in OT 58
- Dreger: ‘In Kessel’s case, I firmly believe he’s going to be traded’ (73)
- Coyotes ‘win’ against Sabres in OT (58)
- Red Wings beat Blues in OT, but should winning goal count? (56)
- Tank-worthy? Connor McDavid finishes OHL season with 120 points in 47 games (56)
- Report: No fine or suspension for Tyler Toffoli’s hit on Alex Burrows (51)