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.