COLUMBUS, Ohio - If things keep going the way they have, several of the Columbus Blue Jackets will have big problems trying to grow a playoff beard.
The team that relies so heavily on youngsters was 5-12-2 on Feb. 24, but has gone 17-5-5 since.
The Blue Jackets — 30th of the 30 teams in the NHL just two months ago — hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference heading into Tuesday's games. With only two games left they're one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings, who have three games remaining.
The Blue Jackets have done it by trusting in "Bob" — goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky — and coming up with a star a night to make a big play.
You get the right whistles at the right times, you can leave him out there. He's a beast when it comes to being on the ice. I thought [Saturday] he was a big man. That first period, he did that lateral cut and it was like three bowling pins bounced off him. There's not too many guys that can do that.
— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on Alex Ovechkin, who enters February tied for the NHL lead in goals