Rather than doing the traditional Morning After piece, I thought it was only fitting to focus on the biggest game of the night last night that saw the Winnipeg Jets taking on the Washington Capitals. For the two clubs it was without a doubt the biggest game of the year with the Southwest division on the line and quite possibly the Jets playoff chances.
After falling behind 2-0 after twenty minutes, the Jets battled back in the middle frame to tie it at two. Herein lies the problem for the Jets, they couldn’t maintain that pace, giving up another two goals in the period to fall behind 4-2 heading into the final frame.
Despite pulling to within one midway through the third, the Jets couldn’t get the equalizer and eventually Alex Ovechkin would ice it with his astonishing 31st goal of the season.
With the win the Caps clinch the division and ensure themselves of the number three seed in the east along with home ice advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs. Not bad for a club that fall flat on their face at the start of the season.
As for the Jets, they are now on life support when looking at their playoff chances. They remain in ninth place, just one point back of the New York Rangers for that final ticket to the postseason dance. The problem for the Jets is they are running out of games with just a single contest remaining before the end of the regular season and its a date with the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
Needless to say it’s a must win for Winnipeg but even then it may not be enough given the Rangers have two games remaining, both against non-playoff teams in the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils. Typically this would be in the Rangers advantage but given they lost to the lowly Florida Panthers last night, nothing can be taken for granted.
Can the Jets get in? It’s unlikely but anything is possible. We’ll know more on Thursday night so stay tuned for that.
Speaking of New York, how about those Islanders? Similar to the Capitals, this was a club that couldn’t find their identity to start the season and just sputtered along not making much noise of any sorts. Suddenly they came alive in March and haven’t looked back since and now the Islanders are heading for the playoffs after securing a point in last night’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Hurricanes.
John Tavares notched the tying goal with just over a minute to play, capping off what has been an incredible turn around for the Long Island boys. They’ve found ways to win and found ways to gain valuable points on nights they needed them; last night was no different.
The Islanders have to be one of the better feel good stories of the season and now that they are in the playoffs they could make some noise.
Just four games are on tap tonight on the ice but three of them have implications on playoff seeding so there should be plenty of headlines tomorrow morning.
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