The Columbus Blue Jackets head into Monday night’s action in eighth place (tied with the seventh-place Minnesota Wild in points but lacking in tiebreakers) in the Western Conference, and they once again have Sergei Bobrovsky to thank for keeping their playoff push going strong. Bobrovsky stopped 32 shots on Sunday to help the Blue Jackets sneak past the San Jose Sharks by a 4-3 score, his sixth win in the last seven games. Bobrovsky has been a workhorse for Columbus all season, and now that he is getting a little more offensive support the Blue Jackets not only look like a playoff contender but a possible sleeper to reach the second round as well.
On Sunday, Bobrovsky’s offensive help came thanks to a pair of goals from Mark Letestu and one goal each from Ryan Johansen and Vinny Prospal. The win was an especially encouraging one for the Blue Jackets not only because they were able to knock off a perennial playoff contender like the Sharks, but because they did so without Artem Anisimov, Matt Calvert and Nikita Nikitin in the lineup. Bobrovsky has now cracked the league’s top six in both save percentage and goals-against average and is starting to hear his name crop up in many conversations about postseason awards. For now, his and his team’s focus remains on the final two games of the season. The Blue Jackets face a Dallas Stars team that is desperately pushing for a playoff spot on Thursday before finishing the season against the struggling Nashville Predators on Saturday.