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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Blue Jackets vs Penguins round 1 recap

I think this series was all about expectations. The Blue Jackets had a great run in the regular season with 16 wins in a row. This is the third time in franchise history they made the playoffs. The first time they were swept by the Red Wings. 0 wins and 4 losses. So this brings us to the fact that now they have 3 post season appearances with a total of 3 wins. I can think of at least one Penguin with that many Stanley cup rings. Chris Kunitz. 

So this is where the expectations come in. The Blue Jackets had such a great regular season, you would think that should translate to the post season. Not so much. The pens win the first 3 games.  The Blue Jackets stay alive by winning a home game. Then, the Penguins close out the series with a pretty solid home win 5 to 2 over the Blue Jackets.
   
In the regular season, the Blue Jackets had one breakout star: Cam Atkinson, with an impressive 35 goals. In the post season he had 2 goals, both in game 3. With the Penguins, it's much harder to pick the best part. There are so many things that can be said about the super stars. We all know the crazy goal Crosby got in at an almost impossible angle. Etc.

THE GOOD:

Its easy to focus on the super stars. So lets take a look at two guys that aren't named Atkinson and Crosby. Both did something notable.

I really liked Boone Jenner in this series. I think he was the unsung hero for the Blue Jackets. He had 2 goals and 1 assist. I think the more notable goal was the one he batted in. It was on the power play.  It was also batted out of the air and in. After a review, it was deemed not by a high stick. I also really like his physical style of play.

So lets take a quick look into Bryan Rust. He had 4 goals in 5 games. In the 5th game, he had two goals! The second goal was of his own rebound. Bryan Rust is a rising star. He has almost a cult following on tweeter.  is the hash tag to follow.

 THE BAD:

Sergei "Bob" Bobrovsky, in the regular season, had the best save percentage at .931 sv%. He is also a finalist for the Vezina Trophy this season. So he is looking at the possibility of getting the second of his career. Then what happened? In the post season, Bob had an overall .882 sv%. Yes you read that right. Let that sink in. 


.882 sv%
  

THE UGLY:

This is an easy one. There is only one seriously ugly incident: Matt Calvert's "episode" with Tom Kuhnhackl. This can almost be described as a drive-by shooting. Tom Kuhnhackl is caught almost completely flat footed by Matt Calvert. The cross check is addressed by the refs with a 2 minute penalty. What bothers me most is two things about this. The first is that Kuhnhackl is nowhere near the puck. He has nothing to do with the play that is moving away from them. The second is after the cross check. Matt Calvert skates back around and wrecks Tom Kuhnhackl with a check that drops him to the ice. Hence why I call this a drive-by. Did not kill him with the fist shot (cross check) so skates back to finish him off.

Matt Calvert, not cool, man. I get this is a playoff game and all. Maybe next time try to at least go after the guy with the puck. Since there was no real injury and the cross check itself was addressed during the game, I agree that the one-game suspension was the right call.

https://www.nhl.com/video/calvert-suspended-one-game/t-277440360/c-51462503 

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