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Baby Hockey Jesus

IT HAS HAPPENED. THE DAY HAS ARRIVED. THE HOUR IS HERE. ANOTHER TIME-BASED CLICHE TO POINT OUT THE FACT THAT THIS HAS BEEN AN EXCRUCIATING LONG WAIT FOR A PLAYOFF APPEARANCE.

THE COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS ARE GOING TO BE IN THE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE APRIL 23, 2009! THANKS TO STABILITY IN GOAL, GREAT PLAY BY THOSE BROUGHT TO OHIO IN THE NASH TRADE, AND THE EMERGENCE OF A REAL TOP LINE CENTER IN RYAN JOHANSEN, THE BLUE JACKETS ARE MAKING A SPLASH THAT ACTUALLY SEEMS SUSTAINABLE. THAT LIST HINTS AT THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF MANY MEMBERS OF THE TEAM, BUT IN PARTICULAR IT’S HARD TO UNDERSTATE JUST HOW IMPORTANT JOHANSEN’S GROWTH IS TO THIS SUCCESS. MOST NIGHTS, HE FACES AND DESTROYS ROUGH COMPETITION, WHICH ONLY OPENS UP MORE CHANCES FOR THE OTHER TOP-9 PLAYERS. COLUMBUS BLOGGERS AND REPORTERS HAVE SPENT A LOT OF TIME TALKING ABOUT #19 AND ARE DESTINED TO DO EVEN MORE IN THE WEEKS AHEAD. THE PRAISE GIVEN TO HIM WILL BE WELL-DESERVED.

THERE ARE WEAKNESSES PRESENT FOR THIS CLUB (PARTICULARLY ON DEFENSE), AND THE JACKETS WILL HAVE AN UPHILL BATTLE AGAINST THEIR MOST LIKELY PLAYOFF OPPONENTS (PITTSBURGH OR BOSTON), BUT THEIR PUCK POSSESSION STANDING IS QUITE STRONG FOR ONCE. IT’S NOT IMPOSSIBLE FOR THIS TEAM TO STEAL A SERIES THIS YEAR, AND IT MIGHT NOT EVEN REQUIRE BOBROVSKY IS STANDING ON HIS HEAD (ALTHOUGH THAT’S A WONDERFUL EXTRA THING TO HAVE). HECK, A FEW MINOR TWEAKS, PERHAPS A NEW BACKUP GOALIE, AND ANY GROWTH BY THE YOUNGER MEMBERS OF THE BLUELINE COULD MEAN INCREDIBLE THINGS FOR THE JACKETS NEXT YEAR TOO!

I KNOW, I KNOW, “ENJOY THE MOMENT,” BUT IT’S SO EXCITING TO REALIZE THAT BOTH THE NOW AND THE FUTURE LOOK GOOD FOR THE BLUE JACKETS.

PLAYOFFS! PLAYOFFS! PLAYOFFS! FINALLY!

(apologies to Brett for the genre abuse that was this post)

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