It would be stating the obvious to point out that tonight’s Metropolitan Division clash between the Penguins and the Blue Jackets is a big game, so let’s add some statistical context to things.
According to Micah Blake McCurdy’s model at Hockey Viz, the Penguins sit with a 79% chance of making the playoffs. A win tonight against Columbus in regulation would add eight percentage points to those chances, sending them near a 90% chance.
On the flip side of the coin, should the Penguins lose in regulation, it would take their chances down to 70%.
From Columbus’ perspective, their chances are already lower, having lost a few games recently. They currently sit with a 72% chance of making the playoffs.
A regulation loss for the Blue Jackets would knock them down a whole 10% and down to 62%.
That type of loss for the Blue Jackets and that type of win for the Penguins could be both devastating to Columbus and quite the feat for Pittsburgh.
Seeing those kind of potential swings in a single game this late in the season show just how tight things really are.