Young Jackets, Blues get a cold, hard taste of Stanley Cup Playoffs
The Columbus Blue Jackets had not made the playoffs since their arrival in the National Hockey League in the year 2000. This year, the Jackets battled adversity all year long, including the early season loss of exciting rookie centerman, Derrick Brassard, to find their way into the “second season”. Steve Mason, Rick Nash, and RJ Umberger engineered the ride, as the bunch grew up quickly in order to snare a berth.
The St. Louis Blues had been absent from the tournament for three years following a 25 year long string of playoff presence. In fact, they were sitting dead last in the Western Conference just weeks before the trade deadline in March. Led by youthful players like TJ Oshie, Patrik Berglund, David Perron, Brad Boyes, and the older Keith Tkachuk, Andy MacDonald, and to a lesser extent, Paul Kariya, the upstart Blues shot up the ranks quickly and secured their return to the playoffs.
Both teams felt confident as they began their first-round series about a week ago. Those feelings wouldn’t last particularly long.
Whether it be nerves, playoff inexperience, or just a lack of talent in comparison to their opponent, the Blue Jackets have been utterly dominated by the Detroit Red Wings. They trail the series, 3-0, heading into what could be its final game tomorrow night at Columbus’ Nationwide Arena.
Meanwhile, in St. Louis, the Vancouver Canucks finished up a four game sweep of the Blues last night when the Vancouver’s Alex Burrows beat goaltender Chris Mason with a soft goal coming down the right wing in overtime.
The Jackets and Blues are a combined 0-7 this postseason.
There will be better days ahead for both franchises, what with the absurd amount of talented prospects and youngsters they have at their disposal.
Mason, Brassard, Jakub Voracek, Kris Russell, and Nikita Filatov are only a few examples of fantastic talent still maturing for Columbus.
In the case of the Blues, Oshie, Berglund, Perron, Boyes, and stud defenseman Alex Pietrangelo are sure to have them in contention for years to come.
Much like the Penguins and Capitals in recent years, the Jackets and Blues are seeing their first playoff experiences end quite hastily.