Embed from Getty Images The Columbus Blue Jackets stunning upset of the Tampa Bay Lightning, caught many fans and sports media off guard. A closer look at the series shows just how dominant the Blue Jackets were.
Two seasons worth of playoff failures paved the way for one of the biggest upsets the NHL has ever witnessed. The Columbus Blue Jackets showed they learned lessons and them applied them to perfection.
Two years ago against the Pittsburgh Penguins the Blue Jackets skated around with their sticks in the air. This year they masterfully had sticks on the ice taking away passing lane after passing lane and frustrating mighty Tampa Bay.
Last season the Washington Capitols out hit and were the more physical team in route to the Stanley Cup. This season the Blue Jackets out hit and were more physical than the Lightning.
Only one team has ever swept the Presidents’ Trophy winners in the first round of the playoffs and that’s the 2019 Columbus Blue Jackets. That is nearly unbelievable. Columbus is riding a seven game road winning streak, outscoring opponents 32-10 in those games away from Nationwide Arena.
Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky’s save percentage in the four wins was .932. Bobrovsky had an .891 save percentage in the Blue Jackets’ three regular season games against Tampa Bay. Goalie Bob showed up in a big way.
The Blue Jackets outscored the Tampa Bay Lightning 19-8 in the series after the Bolts had beaten the Blue Jackets in three regular season games to the tune of 17-3. More impressive, 12 different Blue Jackets lit the lamp in the series.
The Blue Jackets have won 11 of their last 12 games, going back to the regular season. The Jackets have outscored their opponents 54-22 over those 12 games. To say they picked up the pace is kind.
Columbus’ odds to win the Stanley Cup, currently second best in the playoffs according to Money Puck’s model. Three weeks ago, their odds to claim the Cup were just 1.5%.
With the Columbus Blue Jackets sweeping the Lightning all 31 NHL teams that have now won a playoff series. The Blue Jackets were the last team to advance past the first round.
Now it is on to round two.