Back by popular demand, here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.
Just the bubble games of note tonight ….
Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m. ET. From Puck-Rakers, the stakes: “If the Blue Jackets win tonight, they will head into Saturday's home game vs. Nashville still alive for a spot in the playoffs, and the Stars will be eliminated. But if the Blue Jackets lose tonight, there's trouble. A regulation loss by Columbus tonight, coupled with a Detroit win over Nashville, would eliminate the Blue Jackets from the playoffs. A OT or shootout loss by the Jackets, coupled with a Red Wings win over the Predators, would preclude Columbus from catching Detroit and leave them with only a very slim chance to catch the Wild. Any loss by the Stars -- regulation or overtime/shootout -- ends their season.”
Preview: Nashville Predators at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. ET. The Wings clinch a playoff berth with a win here and if the Stars defeat the Jackets; or if they lose in OT and #Lumbus loses in regulation. Chris Mason goes for the Preds, who must hate Columbus for some reason.
Preview: Ottawa Senators at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET. The return of Erik Karlsson for the Sens. Ottawa clinches a playoff berth with a win or a Winnipeg loss; or an OT loss combined with a Winnipeg loss in regulation.
Preview: New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET. The Rangers clinch with a win or an OT loss combined with any Jets loss or a regulation loss by the Jets. Hopefully their playoff hopes aren’t … Staal’d.
Preview: Montreal Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets, 8 p.m. ET. Must-win for the Jets. Obviously. And then they need some help. Via Arctic Ice Hockey: “Despite coming off of the crippling loss to the Capitals on Tuesday, the Jets are still 6-1-1 in their last 8 games and have a chance to finish the season with 53 points. At the beginning of the year it was assumed that this point total would have been close to earning a playoff spot, and it looks like it will be. Sadly, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”
PODCAST: Aaron Portzline, hockey lies and Robot Wysh on today’s podcast. [Marek Vs. Wyshynski]
Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: ‘Yougottabejokinenme’ on the CHL Sundogs’ stunt:
Things went from funny to weird when I read "pulley system to lower waste."
Bold Prediction: The Jackets lose, the Wings win, and Bobrovsky comes off my Hart ballot.