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What About Bob? His 36 Saves Helped Columbus Earn 2-1 Series Lead

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6-1.

That is the current record of the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which includes a 4-0 sweep of the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning. Earlier tonight, the Blue Jackets held on for a 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins for a 2-1 series lead in the second round of the playoffs in front of–and with the support of–a thunderous home crowd of around 20,000 at Nationwide Arena.

A great scene.

Never trailing in Game 3 tonight, the Blue Jackets were opportunistic offensively and determined defensively. It’s quite a relief when one of the best goalies in the NHL, Sergei Bobrovsky (“Bob”), is an absolute beast between the pipes. His mobility has been on full display this postseason.

Blue Jackets Boone Jenner opened up scoring with 1:23 left in the first period. Matt Duchene doubled the lead for Columbus with 7:18 remaining in the second period and Boston’s Jake DeBrusk countered by the skin of his teeth (and an official video review) with 40 seconds left in the second period.

Surviving an offensive barrage by Boston for the full 20 minutes of the third period, Mr. BOBrovsky helped Columbus take the 2-1 series lead.

To any objective NHL fan and analyst, Columbus has been one of the (if not the) best team in this year’s playoffs thus far. With Artemi Panarin (the “Bread Man”) always looking for his shot and Sergei Bobrovsky protecting the goal, the Blue Jackets are a formidable force on both ends of the ice. What’s more is that, at least to an observer who is not in the locker room, it seems head coach John Tortorella has a team with no ego, intense focus to detail defensively and a belief that they can beat any team on any night if given the opportunity.

These characteristics are the differentiating factors that are defining the eye-opening success for the Columbus Blue Jackets right now.

Game 4 is back in Nationwide Arena this Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports.

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The Blue Jackets Swept Away Its Playoff Past With Lightning in a Bottle

The 8-seed Columbus Blue Jackets swept the 1-seed–and Presidents’ Trophy-winning–Tampa Bay Lightning in four games in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

This remarkable feat was the first time:

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets had won a playoff series in its franchise history
  • The Presidents’ Cup winners were swept in the first round of the NHL Playoffs

Game 1: A 3-0 deficit was erased with a stunning Blue Jackets 4-3 comeback win.
Game 2: Columbus destroyed Tampa Bay 5-1 in Florida.
Game 3: The Blue Jackets won 3-1.
Game 4: Watch below to relieve the dramatic, magical night inside Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH-IO on Tuesday evening.

Was last season’s four-game collapse against the favorited Washington Capitals the odd springboard for the Blue Jackets playoff success thus far in 2019? That’s probably a safe presumption, specifically when discussing the third game in this series. More broadly, Columbus has arrived in a way this city has been waiting around two decades to witness.

And now its NHL counterparts and fans alike are seeing something different about the Blue Jackets right now…

something they don’t want to face-off with anytime soon.

The Crew Had One Goal for Tonight

All they needed was one, just one goal.

Columbus Crew SC fell 1-nil to Toronto FC in Canada tonight in the second (and decisive) leg of the 2017 MLS Eastern Conference Final, thereby preventing the black & gold from hosting an MLS Cup for the ages. Admittedly, as a Crew fan from the beginning, it’s difficult to find the words in this trying moment. The chances were there for that critical one away goal, but Justin Meram and Ola Kamara couldn’t place the ball in the back of the net.

That one goal was right there…

By the way, huge props to the next USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen for another fantastic penalty kick save in the 26th minute.

And in predictable snake-like behavior, MLS Commissioner Don Garber claimed he was “stuck in traffic” so he didn’t have to answer questions live on FS1 regarding his active participation in the deception, sabotage and attempted removal of the Crew from Columbus. Without diving deep tonight into the ongoing shameful acts by Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt, Crew SC President of Business Operations Andy Loughnane, Precourt Sports Ventures President Dave Greeley and MLS Commissioner Don Garber, I have just one thing to say right now:

The #SaveTheCrew movement is not over and will continue far beyond this MLS post-season. The efforts behind the rallying cry “We’re not done yet” will not yield because if Columbus ceases to be home to a professional soccer club, then so goes the identity and beating heart of American soccer in its capital city.

The Chill of Nil-Nil

Columbus Crew SC 0 – Toronto FC 0

Not the best case scenario, but also not the worst.

Just getting back home from the nil-nil draw between the best damn fans in MLS land, more reflection, and analysis on tonight’s tense game will follow tomorrow. One thing’s for sure at this moment, which is that the city of Columbus continues to solidify its rightful place as THE soccer capital of the United States of America. The fans who rocked the sold-out Crew stadium on this chilly November night were passionate, excited and inspiring. The history of the Crew in MLS (and USMNT’s Dos-a-Cero) is unmatched.

Once again, the very identity of American soccer, let alone MLS, is at stake with keeping the Crew and professional soccer in Columbus. And fans let everyone in Crew Stadium hear it with more chants for Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt, as well as sporting a special banner before kickoff that will be featured in tomorrow’s blog post.

Until next Wednesday’s second leg of the Eastern Conference Final in Toronto, let’s all memorize and sing the newest Crew chant inspired by the timeless classic (and very appropriate) Les Misérables.

“We’re not done!”

Damn straight.

#SaveTheCrew