As I was listening to the new and improved Hockeybuzzcast and hearing the sparkling reviews and praise for the Columbus Blue Jackets especially from Josh Rimer. I knew I had to check this series out.
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Now, even though the Blue Jackets couldn't put together a full 60 minute effort and come out on top in this game, I was thoroughly impressed. And for a lot of reasons I thought it could have went the other way.
Mid-way through the 2nd Period I was convinced why Columbus are a legit contender in the Eastern Conference. Even though at this point Dan Bylsma the coach of the Penguins started to adapt and counter the Blue Jackets attack but I won't go into details about that. I want to focus on the positives that came out of wednesdays game.
Up to the Mid-way point, the Blue Jackets had seemingly won every puck battle, every face off for possession, and were all over the Penguins defense. This team simply wanted it more.
For stretches Columbus was able to pressure Pittsburgh's defense down low in the attacking zone and create turn overs leading to quality scoring chances. On the defensive side, the penguins were unable to set up in the zone because of the tight point defense pressuring the puck out of the zone and breaking up the cross-ice pass.
Juicy Rebounds. There were plenty of pucks that came off of Marc-Andre Fluery tonight that could have ended up in the back of the net had a player been there. This will have to be a key adjustment next game.
Boone Jenner and Brendan Dubinsky getting 8-9 hits a night. This is why I love hockey. The psychological edge that these two players have given their team is huge. If Columbus can build off this physicality and create space for the offensively gifted players to step in and covert we are going to have a long series or its going to take a toll on the Penguins moving forward.
Bobrovski looked solid. Huge saves early on infused the young Blue Jackets with confidence and momentum. They knew they had the right to be there. And so did I.
This series is indeed one of the more fascinating match ups in the East and I look forward to seeing how the rest of the games play out!
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