The Columbus Blue Jackets appear to be peaking at the right time

Embed from Getty Images The Columbus Blue Jackets are going to win a playoff series! That has been Blue Jackets fans thoughts the past two Stanley Cup Playoffs. One problem the team peaked too early during the season and fell apart in the playoffs. This season while the Jackets have had to fight for a playoff spot, they are getting hot at the right time of year.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, has been up and down in a widely inconsistent season for the usually steady neat-minder. “Bob” as he his known around Columbus Ohio, has found solid grounding since March. Posting an even strength save percentage of .953.

Columbus is sort of in a sweet spot if you will. The team is currently in the wild-card, they could also grab one of the top seeds. Not only is Bobrovsky hot, but suddenly the Blue Jackets season long struggle to score goals is gone.

Lead by 40 goal scorer Cam Atkinson the Jackets have scored 11 goals in their last two games. The team is playing more confident as a whole. When head coach John Tortorella was asked about why his team has turned it on his answer was perplexing.

“No idea, if we did we could have avoided a lot of headache.” While to a casual hockey fan that sounds like a stupid answer it really is not. A closer look shows us that hockey players and teams feed off of each other like in no other sport.

In hockey it only takes one or two guys to get hot then suddenly everyone around them heats up as well. Case and point Bobrovsky and Atkinson. “Bob” gets hot allowing the defense to play more relaxed in front of him. While 40 goals from Atkinson sounds like and it is. He went through scoring droughts of his own during the season. Now hot, the rest of the Blue Jackets offense is hot.

This season looks different for the Blue Jackets. Talent has never been an issue in Columbus. Peaking to soon has bee a major issue. This season the team has finally peaked at the right time of year. Leading many hockey people to say “watch Columbus in the playoffs.” This time it just may be true.

Detroit Red Wings remembering the Russian Five

Embed from Getty Images Five Russian hockey players who would go to form life long friendships and one of the most deadly lines in the NHL. They were a sight to behold. No team could slow them down. No team could stop them.

Igor Larionov centered the line he was anchored by Slava Fetisov on the left and one of the greatest players I have ever seen play Sergei Fedorov on his right. No team to date has a line that scores goals as quick as this line did.
They got the puck down low and before opposing teams knew what happened they were skating off the ice with another goal on the board.
Vladimir Konstantinov and Slava Kozlov were the defenders who dominated and punished offensive players. And left many bruised and battered.
Konstantinov was severely injured in a limousine accident after the 1997 Stanley Cup championship. He is in a wheel chair and is accompanied by Sergei Fedorov whenever he is seen in public. Once a teammate always a teammate.
There are no words for what these guys did during there time in Detroit. But the city and Red Wings fans still talk about them today. Many including myself think the team needs to retire Sergei Fedorov’s number.
Today’s NHL play of getting the puck down low and playing smothering defense is a direct tip of the cap to five guys who changed hockey.