12/03/23 Playoff Picture
There aren't enough ways to describe how crucial tonight's game between the Winnipeg Jets and the Washington Capitals is for the Jets playoff hopes. The Southeast Division foes continue their rivalry with the biggest game of the season as they both battle for the eighth and final playoff spot. Currently the Capitals hang on to that final playoff position with 81 points through 74 games, while the Jets trail with 76 points through 73 games. A win tonight would mean the Jets would trail by only three points with a game in hand, while a loss would put Winnipeg behind by seven points.
This game is huge.
Notes: Thanks to a 5-1 win over the Nashville Predators, the Pittsburgh Penguins have punched their ticket to the playoffs. They sit fourth in the Eastern Conference with 98 points (New York Rangers lead the Atlantic Division with 99 points)... By gaining a single point with their loss in the shootout to the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis has clinched a playoff spot with 101 points at the top of the Western Conference...
Washington 1, Philadelphia 2 (SO)
The Winnipeg Jets were aided slighlty by the Philadelphia Flyers who were able to steal one point away from the Capitals by defeating them in the shootout last night. The Flyers, along with the rest of the Atlantic Division, continue to vault themselves beyond the rest of the Conference. Thanks to the timely shootout loss, the Capitals remain within reach for the Jets.
TONIGHT'S KEY MATCH-UPS:
Buffalo Sabres at New York Rangers (6:00 PM)
The Sabres keep finding ways to win in the second half of the season, but they face a tough task against the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers. Buffalo could grab themselves a playoff spot if they win and Washington loses tonight, but the ideal situation for the Jets would be a loss by the Sabres tonight, keeping them within reach.
Ideal Jets Outcome: New York Rangers win
Carolina Hurricanes at Columbus Blue Jackets (6:00 PM)
With their win on Wednesday night over the Florida Panthers, the Carolina Hurricanes brought themselves within one point of the Jets in the Eastern Conference standings. The Hurricanes face the basement-dwelling Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night having now won four straight games.
Despite their horrendous start to the season, the Jackets are playing decent hockey down the stretch and shouldn't be overlooked. The Hurricanes chances at a playoff spot are slim, but for the Jets, it would be best to keep them well in the rearview mirror.
Ideal Jets Outcome: Blue Jackets win.
Winnipeg Jets at Washington Capitals (6:00 PM, TSN Jets)
There is no more critical a match-up tonight than this Divivision battle between the Jets and Capitals. Winnipeg can achieve two tasks in Washington tonight: First, they can gain key points in the standings, and second, they can help themselves by denying points to the Capitals.
It's a big game. Watch it tonight on TSN Jets or listen to TSN Radio 1290.
Ideal Jets Outcome: Jets win!
- Toronto Maple Leafs at New Jersey Devils (6:00 PM)
- Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens (6:30 PM)
- Edmonton Oilers at Florida Panthers (6:30 PM)