Columbus Blue Jackets: Your Stanley Cup dream is over

Washington came from 2-0 down in the series to win 4-2.

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(Photo credit: Ryan)

After winning game one and two in Washington, Columbus fans were dreaming of a second round match up against Pittsburgh. 

John Tortorella and his team then somehow squandered their advantage and lost 4-2 in the series.

While this will hurt every Jackets fan, the Capitals may have thrown their hat into the true contender ring as they showed a determination to turn around a two game deficit. 

For Washington they have earned another shot at Pittsburgh in the playoffs. For Columbus this exit will sting.

The series

Game one started badly for the Jackets as they fell 2-0 down in the first period. A rally came in the third though with Artemi Panarin bagging himself three points on the evening. Overtime followed and Panarin grabbed the game winner. 

Game two saw Washington take a 2-0 lead again and then a 3-1 lead and somehow throw it away with another OT defeat. This time it was Matt Calvert who scored the important goal to give the Jackets a 2-0 series lead. 

A series sweep was on the cards as Columbus came home for game three. This time it was Washington who handed out overtime pain as they won the match 3-2 to get themselves back in the series.

Game four started horrendously for the Jackets as they fell 3-0 down early in the third period. A 4-1 victory tied the series and shifted all the momentum to the Capitals. 

Overtime was again the theme in game five as both teams played out a 3-3 draw. Nicklas Backstrom was the hero for Washington as they went 3-2 ahead in the series.

Tortorella guaranteed that the Jackets would win game six and extend the series. But his confidence was misplaced as Washington connected six times on 28 shots to win the game 6-3. Alex Ovechkin was the hero of the day, bagging two goals. 

What next for Columbus?

This is a great team that has yet to enjoy any postseason success. The difficult thing for the Jackets is that they are in a hard division. They are likely to play Washington or Pittsburgh in the playoffs and both those sides are strong.

The team ought to stay with what they have and maybe try to pick up a couple of depth free agents to pad their lineup out. 

It could also be advisable to play Joonas Korpisalo more next season so that Bobrovsky is better rested for the playoffs. 

What next for Washington?

Arch-nemesis Pittsburgh! These sides have met ten times in the postseason and Pittsburgh have won eight of those matchups. 

Surely though at some point the Capitals will defeat the Penguins in the postseason? Certainly that needs to be the mindset if you are a fan of the team. 

Really what lies ahead is a tough series. If Washington can slay their dragon, then surely they will feel confident of finally making an appearance in the Stanley Cup final. This might be their final hope…

Will Columbus make the post season next year? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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