Blue Jackets Advance After Sweep of Mighty Lightning

May JohnsonApr 19, 2019

The Blue Jackets put on a defensive clinic in the series, playing a 1-2-2 forecheck that slowed the pace, owned the neutral zone and never allowed the Lightning to find their way offensively. Just look at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday night.

Now, the last pick in the first round will hardly be franchise altering, but it could still land the Blueshirts a decent prospect with a fairly high ceiling with which to add to the already substantial talent pool. The famous Civil War smoothbore cannon boomed again and again, enough times for a touchdown and the extra point in a 7-3 win.

Rutherford didn't hold back when it came to why the Pens came up short against the Islanders, and failed to win even a single game.

Stash away the guillotine.

Bolstered by winning the first-ever playoff series in franchise history with a 7-3 Game 4 win on Tuesday, the Blue Jackets will be a formidable opponent for anyone in the East.

Their 62 wins tied the 1995-96 Red Wings for the most in a regular season in NHL history and their 128 points were a mere four points shy of the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens for the best season in NHL history (though six additional points from shootouts were something not available in an NHL era that included ties).

Shall we count the reasons why? "They executed their game plan". He also has come under criticism at times from coach John Tortorella through an erratic season, but the former Vezina Trophy victor never withered.

Steph Curry Sets NBA Playoff Record for Most Three-Pointers
From there, Draymond cried wolf in the Oracle Arena parking lot to make Kevin Durant feel wanted, and KD fell for the trap. In Game 2, Looney scored a career-high 19 points and grabbed 6 rebounds on a ideal 6-of-6 shooting in 20 minutes for a +1.

Kucherov was suspended for Game 3 of the series for an illegal check in Game 2. They did a complete 180, keeping Bobrovsky and Panarin while also trading for scoring upgrades in forwards Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel, and some blue line depth in Adam McQuaid. No one saw it coming (well maybe a few Blue Jackets fans).

"Why wouldn't we?" he said.

"We don't have to overthink, we just have to enjoy tonight and prepare for another work get-together, work for each other and, yup, let's see what's going to happen", Bobrovsky said. "We just scored every time we went down the ice". Simply stated, Tampa Bay did an bad job of not imposing their will as far as the tempo is concerned and hey got their brains beat in as a result. Reporters, of course, will relish another chance to have their cell phones answered or body odor called out during Tortorella's always-lively press conferences. Though the Penguins extended their playoff streak to 13 years and counting, they only sporadically played the kind of intelligent and responsible hockey coach Mike Sullivan has tried to instill from the moment he took over in December 2015. He's played in 64 playoff games over the past four years. Consider this. Thirty of their 62 victories were by three goals or more.

"I don't think (we can win) as is, but the window is still open", Rutherford said. "You've got to trust what's gotten to you to this point and what our strengths are and how we've gotten here". I look at our roster and see a lot of really good players, and I see a really good organization and great coaching and great defensemen.

Though Tampa Bay will get star Nikita Kucherov back after serving a one-game suspension for an illegal hit on Columbus defenseman Markus Nutivaara in Game 2, the Lightning understand their issues run far deeper than Kucherov's absence.

Steve Stamkos, the captain forward of the Tampa Bay Lightning in a March 22, 2014 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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