Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 17, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

For the first time in NHL history a President’s trophy winner was swept out of the 1st round of the playoffs.

It was the Columbus Blue Jackets who sent the President trophy winning Tampa Bay Lighting home with a 7-3 win last night in Game 4 of their opening round series. Not only was this the first time a President trophy winner had been swept in the 1st round of the playoffs it was also the first playoff series win in Blue Jackets history.

If you go all the way back to Game 1 it started off looking like it would be the Lighting that would be the team that would be sweeping this series. Tampa Bay scored 3 goals in the 1st period of Game 1 and looked like they’d take that game easily. Maybe there was a hint of how this series would go when Columbus scored he next four goals and took Game 1 4-3.

In Game 2 it was the Blue Jackets that rattled off the first three goals in the game, but there was no comeback by the Lighting as Columbus was able to cruise to a 5-1 Game 2 win.

Now believe it or not this wasn’t the first time that the Blue Jackets won the first two games of an opening round playoff series on the road. Just last season they took the first two games in Washington, but then the Capitals won the next four games to eliminate Columbus. I’m sure that Lighting fans where hoping for the same thing to happen as the series shifted to Columbus for Game 3 & 4.

In the 1st period of Game 3 neither offense could put the puck in the net, but the Blue Jackets where able to wipe away some of those memories from last season as they scored the only two goals of the 3nd period which was enough as they picked up a Game 3 win 3-1.

I’m not really sure if it would’ve made a difference, but you have to ask yourself if Nikita Kucherov wasn’t suspended for this game if Tampa Bay might’ve been able to pull this one out.

Facing elimination last night it looked like the Lighting was in trouble as Columbus jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Tampa Bay was able to get one of those goals back in the 1st period and was down just 2-1 after the opening period.

The Blue Jackets struck first in the 2nd period to make it a 3-1 game, but this time it was the Lighting that came right back. Tampa Bay scored the next two goals to even the game at 3-3 and it appeared as though they might be able to force a Game 5.

The Blue Jackets picked up a goal at the end of the 2nd period to make it a 4-3 game, but Tampa Bay had to be feeling a little better than they had in the first three games.

Both defenses came up big in the 3rd period as it wasn’t until Tampa Bay pulled it’s goalie before anyone was able to score. Unfortunately for the Lighting it was the Blue Jackets who picked up an empty net goal to make it a 5-3 game.

Tampa Bay decided to keep it’s goaltender on the bench and that allowed the Blue Jackets to add a couple of more empty net goals to make the final score 7-3.

As the Lighting head home to try to figure out what went wrong the Blue Jackets advance to the second round of the NHL playoffs where they’ll face the winner of the Boston Bruins/Toronto Maple Leafs series. The Maple Leafs currently lead that series 2 games to 1 with Game 4 being played tonight in Toronto.

While the Lighting may have the distinction of being the first President’s trophy winner to get swept in the 1st round they are far from the first President’s trophy winner to be a disappointment in the playoffs.

It’s been six seasons since a President’s trophy winner went on to win the Stanley Cup. That was the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-13. Besides the Blackhawks only the Detroit Red Wings have managed to win the President’s trophy and the Stanley Cup in the past 16 NHL seasons. Out of those 14 President’s trophy winning teams only one of them even made it to the Stanley Cup finals.

I guess you have to start to wonder if it better for your favorite NHL team to just get into the playoffs instead of having the most points in the regular season and winning the President’s trophy.

While Tampa Bay will get most of the attention for the way they where swept out of the payoffs they weren’t the only team to get swept out of the 1st round.

With a 3-1 win in Game 4 of their playoff series the New York Islanders swept the Pittsburgh Penguins out of the 1st round of the NHL playoffs.

Even though they Islanders had the better regular season record the Penguins had won two of the last three Stanley Cup title coming into this playoff series and any time you have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel your team is a threat to win it all. So this has to come as a bit of a surprise that the Penguins couldn’t win a game in this series.

I’ve always heard people say that a hot goaltender can carry a team in the playoffs and it looks like that’s that the Islanders have right now.

Robin Lehner posted a 1.47 Goals Against Average with a .956 Save Percentage in the Islanders opening round series against the Penguins. Lehner gave up three goals in Game 1, but after that he allowed just one in each in Games 2, 3 & 4. This was against a Penguins team that scored the 6th most goals in the NHL this season, so it was an impressive performance by Lehner.

The Islanders will get some time off as they wait for the winner of the series between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Washington Capitals. The Capitals currently lead that series 2 games to 1 with Game 4 being played tomorrow in Carolina.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to ay time you want @TuneIn.com.

Remember to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

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