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.
The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.
— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres