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Playoff impacts for tonight's game + easy 5v3 fix

March 9, 2019, 2:06 PM ET [154 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
No matter the outcome of tonight’s game the Blue Jackets are chasing the two points they didn’t get on Thursday. Pittsburgh avoided a worst case scenario of coming up empty. They will head into tonight with looking to crush Columbus’ chances of making the playoffs.

The Blue Jackets caught some breaks last night as the Carolina Hurricanes were stomped by the Winnipeg Jets and Montreal lost to the lowly Ducks. They currently have a 70% chance of making playoffs. That can dramatically change with another regulation loss to the Penguins

If Pittsburgh and Carolina win the Blue Jackets will be wading in that ~56% range. Pittsburgh is currently at 90% and can get to 95% with a regulation win. A regulation loss would bring them to 85%. Again, winning on Thursday avoided a lot of potential damage.

Matt Murray will get the start for the Penguins after earning a shutout on Thursday. Sergei Bobrovsky will need his equipment tonight. Columbus is not only dressing him for the game, but starting him.

The easiest solution to this issue is to limit the amount of time the team passes it around during a 5v3 advantage. Phil Kessel taking the puck from the left circle and curling up towards the blue line and back down Main Street is a simplistic concept that creates a hellish situation for the penalty killers. If they let him curl he can shoot through the screen or look for tips. If they cheat up on him he can kick it down low for a 4v2 advantage. Win the rebound battles and run the play over and over again. You’ll get a lot more quality looks while wasting less time than doing the perimeter passing song and dance most teams do.

Thanks for reading!
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