The Columbus Blue Jackets deserve a lot of credit for battling back from a 3-1 deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins to earn their franchise’s first playoff win. That being said, did Pittsburgh’s overconfidence and desire to add to an already comfortable lead contribute to the team’s downfall?
That was the verdict of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Joe Starkey. Or as he put it:
They never learn.
Every time the Penguins start to feel good about themselves, it seems they want to feel better. Good isn’t good enough. They are hockey’s great narcissists — hopelessly addicted to their own wondrous skill.
One example of what Starkey is referring to was Pittsburgh’s decision to put out four forwards during a Columbus penalty midway through the second period. The Blue Jackets scored nine shorthanded goals in the regular season and had already added another to that list in Game 1 of this series.
So even down a man, the Blue Jackets are a threat to score, and they did, narrowing the Penguins’ lead to just one goal:
“The shorthanded goal for us was, I thought, the difference maker in the game,” Blue Jackets coach Todd RIchards told the Columbus Dispatch’ Aaron Portzline. “It gave hope to our guys.”
It was also the byproduct of “sheer Penguins arrogance,” according to Starkey.
Columbus went on to earn a 4-3 double-overtime victory. Pittsburgh has now allowed at least three goals in 15 of its last 23 playoff contests, dating back to 2012.