Columbus actually is one of the two teams on this list that hold a playoff spot at this point. With two straight victories, including a huge win on March 6 over the Vegas Golden Knights, the Jackets are two points ahead of the team behind them, the Panthers.
However, there’s still some questions for Columbus head coach John Tortorella before the confidence in their ability to make the playoffs goes up. In the last 10 games, the Jackets have a record slightly above average, at 5-4-1.
Artemi Panarin is having a huge season for the Jackets, as is reigning Vezina Trophy winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Both of those players are the most important to a Jackets run to the playoffs. Cam Atkinson needs to step it up too on offense.
Tortorella has been in this position before, and he is a Stanley Cup winning head coach. He knows what needs to be done to get it done on the ice. Watch out for players like Panarin, Bobrovsky, Atkinson, Seth Jones, and Zach Werenski to keep this team in things the rest of the way.