The Columbus Blue Jackets have a long way to gain the franchise’s first-ever win, but they accomplished something already in Game 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins: they gained the team’s first-ever lead in a playoff game.
(Yes, there have been some lean times for Columbus.)
On the bright side, it was a real beauty, as Brandon Dubinsky and Jack Johnson combined for a fantastic goal that has some overly anxious Penguins fans worried already. (Also, more than a few people are throwing Marc-Andre Fleury under the bus, as people are wont to do.)
Note: Jussi Jokinen tied the game up just as this post was about to be published, so Penguins fans can rest easy … and might want to try to take things in stride.
(And then the Blue Jackets got the lead right back. The playoffs are wild, eh?)
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”