Well, well, well. For those about to rock, FIRE. As for Columbus Blue Jackets fans, we salute you guys for playing so well against the giant that was the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning losing seems to be more of a not being able to play up to what the Blue Jackets were game planning more than them choking. If you want to call Nikita Kucherov throwing a temper tantrum and taking a cheap shot on a player that was still down on the ice choking, you could potentially persuade me there. Stamkos finally showed he could put skates on in game four when he scored and the game looked to be shifting in Tampa Bay’s favor but as time wound down, and Tampa pulled their goalie, it was seemingly only a matter of time before the Blue Jackets made something happen and gained possession.
Three empty net goals were scored to seal game four and a sweep of one of the supposed best teams in sports history. The Blue Jackets had never won a playoff series in their team history. This Lightning team, one of the best teams ever, was the first team to win the Presidents’ Trophy and to be swept in the first round.
Last night was truly a historic moment for the NHL but more importantly for Blue Jackets fans. Watching these fans support this team that struggled to bring it all together after so many additions were made to make this type of playoff push was truly inspiring and reminded me of when the Browns beat the Jets with Baker Mayfield coming in after Tyrod Taylor was diagnosed with a concussion. The support, the atmosphere, and the willingness to stick with a team that people see as the underdogs no matter the situation they’re put in is what last night was for those fans in that stadium.
Up next will be either the Boston Bruins or the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto currently is leading that series, but I feel Boston will win it in the end. The Blue Jackets have a chance to win against either team but would have better odds against the Maple Leafs. One giant down, I think the Blue Jackets can rest up and come out with the same aggression against any other team in the league after this series.