Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/18/17 at 08:51 AM ET
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
John Tortorella doesn't want to discuss the race for the Presidents' Trophy, or as he referred to it Friday, "the Presidents' whatever it's called."
Proper nouns aside, the Blue Jackets coach is fine with his players using it as incentive for the last 13 games. Tortorella also knows what comes with having the best regular-season record in the NHL, especially for the top three teams in the outrageously competitive Metro Division.
The winner would have home-ice advantage throughout the postseason while a team theoretically finishing just two or three points behind the champ could open the playoffs on the road. That's how tight the division standings are as the Blue Jackets head to New York to face the Islanders today and the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.
Capturing the Presidents' Trophy would earn the franchise its first banner. Of more immediate relevance, however, is securing home-ice advantage. If the top three teams in the league wind up being from the Metro, the third-place club would start a best-of-seven series away from home.
"That's what you are fighting for," captain Nick Foligno said of home-ice advantage. "It just gives us great motivation every game. I know we are playing some teams that are out of (the playoff race) or are fighting for (a playoff spot), and it allows us to have that emotion every time we step on the ice."
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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