It’s crunch time for the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers. While they both occupy a playoff spot at press time, those spots are far from secure. Thursday’s matchup will be pivotal, as only two points separate the Metropolitan Division clubs.
The Philadelphia Flyers (35-24-11) were the hottest team in the NHL for nearly a month, as they went 10-1-2 in February and tallied six straight wins during that period. Since the calendar turned to March, February’s good fortune has turned for the Flyers. They’ve won just one game in seven this month and are in jeopardy of falling to the first Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference at the hands of the Blue Jackets this Thursday (7:00 PM ET).
Columbus, meanwhile, seems to have picked up where Philly left off. They’ve won five straight contests and have reinserted themselves into the playoff picture. The team’s recent play has been supported by some fantastic offensive output from their star defenseman, Seth Jones. Jones has scored three goals and four assists in his last three games, but he left Monday’s game against the Canadiens early due to injury. The defenseman’s status is unknown for Thursday’s matchup.