Blue Jackets Show They Are the Feel Good Story of the NHL Postseason
In this year's Stanley Cup playoffs, the Columbus Blue Jackets are that team. Sure, they may not have a lot of star players, and yes, they may not be in the biggest hockey market out there, but there are a lot of things to like about this Blue Jackets hockey club.
For starters, one has to like the fact that they are the league's top underdog. Against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Blue Jackets are facing a team that has a plethora of offensive stars as well as team that has won a Cup in the last five years.
This team is also an underdog because of their inexperience in the playoffs. Since joining the league in the 2000-01 season, the franchise has made the postseason just once and that was in the 2008-09 season when they were promptly swept by the Detroit Red Wings.
The Blue Jackets are also a team worth rooting for in this year's postseason because they have shown no quit and have shown that they are never out of a game. This was especially the case in Games 2 and 4.
In Game 2, the Blue Jackets were down by two after the first period and looked like they were going to get demolished by the Penguins. This all started to change at the end of the second period when Blue Jackets' forward Matt Calvert scored a shorthanded goal to make a 3-2 game heading into the third.
The team showed their metal in the third period and tied the game at 3-3 with just over six minutes to go in the hockey game on a power play goal by defenseman Jack Johnson. The Blue Jackets would finish the game in double overtime by getting another goal from Calvert on a hard working play.
Two games later and down 2-1 in the series, the Blue Jackets were at it again. This time, they overcame a three goal deficit and beat the Penguins close to three minutes into overtime on a goal by gritty forward Nick Foligno.
This team is also made up of blue collar players and guys that will do anything to help their team win. Players like Brandon Dubinsky, RJ Umberger, Foligno, and Derek MacKenzie sacrifice their bodies on a nightly basis and have shown this postseason that they can contribute when it matters most.
At the same time, the team has several youngsters that you want to root for. Players like Cam Atkinson, Ryan Johansen, Artem Anisimov, and Boone Jenner have all done their part in this postseason and are all guys that skate hard, forecheck, get back on defense and can contribute offensively to help their club win.
Lastly, you root for the Blue Jackets because everyone likes to see David beat Goliath. In this series, the Blue Jackets are the inexperienced playoff team going up against a franchise that has won three Cups and is made up of all stars at all positions.
Going into this series, hockey fans and pundits alike probably had the Penguins winning this series by a wide margin. Now, if you were to ask these same people, it'd be safe to say that some might be shifting their picks to the Blue Jackets.
While the Blue Jackets still have a lot to do to win this series, they certainly have our attention and rooting interest because of what they have shown, the kind of players they have and because they are a feel good story in this year's NHL playoffs.