Marching Orders: 4/22/13
A deceptively simple case of Marching Orders
Who's ready for some math?
At this point, the Blue Jackets have a max ceiling of 55 points, which is good for a 46% shot at the postseason right now.
Next up in terms of the danger zone, you have Detroit, currently three points back of the Jackets, with four games left. That gives them a potential ceiling of 56.
Because of that, it's vital that Phoenix beat them in regulation tonight. If they do, suddenly the max for Detroit becomes 54, and while that might still get them in with a little luck, it means that Columbus just has to win out to keep ahead of them.
Then we have Dallas, who are now four points back, and have three games left, also giving them a max ceiling of....54.
If San Jose beats them tomorrow night, suddenly they're down to a 52 point max, and that includes a matchup with Columbus. If Dallas loses tomorrow and Columbus can beat them on Thursday, it's a virtual elimination for the Stars, and depending on the results of the Red Wings games against the Kings and Predators, could very well be a clincher for the Jackets.
Meanwhile, out East, the Rangers haven't quite clinched, but the decisive win over New Jersey yesterday put them in the Drivers' seat. They need four points in four games to lock themselves in, regardless of what Winnipeg, Ottawa, or Washington do.
Anything can happen, and I'd say to keep rooting for the Jets and Senators tonight, but it seems likely that Columbus will have three mid to late first round picks. Any movement into the lottery zone would require some kind of trade...but on the other hand, stranger things have happened.