So now that the Pens/Blue Jackets series is finally over, and 46 years have been taken off of all of our lives, we can take a look back at the series that was. This was probably one the best series we've ever watched to be 150% honest. Now some people may say that's crazy but in our opinion that was one of the best playoff series' we've ever seen. 5 out of the 6 games ended with a score of 4-3. In the first 4 games a team came back from being down 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, and 3-0 to win. You just don't see things like that. We also want to give mad props to the Blue Jackets. They held their own in this series and didn't back down at all. They went toe to toe with a giant and gave them a battle for the ages. Nothing but respect for that franchise.....other than Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno, and Blake Comeau. Screw them. The rest of that team is ok though. The Jackets look like they are heading in the right direction and could be pretty good for a long time. But in this series that wasn't the case. Even though they looked shaky at times the Pens ultimately pulled out the series win. It for damn sure wasn't the prettiest of series but a win is a win especially at this time of the year. Below we are going to give our 3, highly educated, professional, hot take opinions on why the Pens ultimately won this series and Columbus didn't.
WHY THE PENS WON:
3. The Bottom Six. For as big a fuss that was made over the Pens bottom 6 all season they are a big reason the Pens are moving on the the 2nd round. Evgeni Malkin didn't score until game 6. Sidney Crosby still has 0 goals. The Bottome 6 chipped in all series long and carried the load from the Pens. Crosby and Malkin had 6 and 7 points respectively but Matt Ni$kanen and Paul Martin are currently leading the team in points. Not Sidney Crosby. Not Evgeni Malkin. Not James Neal. Not Chris Kunitz. 4 guys you would expect. But Matt Niskanen and Paul Martin. The Pens got goals from Craig Adams, Brandon Sutter, Jethrow Gibbons, Lee Stempniak. The Bottom 6 did an unbelievable job this series.
2. Brandon Sutter. Last year in the playoffs Brandon Sutter was invisible. This wasn't a great regular season for him. Until the trade deadline. Unlimited rumors linking him in a possible trade for Ryan Kesler. The trade ultimately didn't happen and Sutter took off. He played his best hockey as a Penguin after the trade deadline. He also had an unbelievable series. Killed penalties, was 50% from the face off dot, chipped in 3 goals and 2 assists, and as much as we despise +/-, he was a +6 this series. The only Penguin better is Paul Martin with a +7. So a big time stick tap to Brandon Sutter.
1. Marc Andre Fleury. What to say about Marc Andre Fleury. He is definitely the number 1 reason that the Pens are moving on to round 2. His stats aren't amazing with 18 goals against, a 2.81 goals against average, and a .908 save percentage. BUT. When the score was tied or within one MAF's save percentage was like .948 or something ridiculous like that. 18 goals against is very misleading. It really doesn't show how well Marc Andre Fleury actuallu played in this series. Columbus scored their goals but the goals they scored were nothing like the ones Fleury gave up last playoffs. Marc Andre Fleury deserves unlimited credit for the Pens still being in the playoffs.
WHY THE JACKETS LOST:
3. James Wisniewski. James Wisniewski was nothing short of atrocious this series. He only tallied 2 assists and was also a -7. Worst among Jackets defensemen. Not only that he helped give the Pens unlimited chances when he was on the ice including two turnovers that lead to breakaway goals by Tony Gibbons and Brandon Sutter. Like Andrew texted me something someone said, James Wisniewski has a series that is gonna make the Flyers trade for him this off season.
2. Sergeri Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky finished the playoffs with 20 goals against, a 3.17 goals against (yikes) and a .908 save percentage. Only reason he has a save percentage above a 9 is he faced more shots than MAF. If Bob faces like 5-10 less shots then he has a sub 9 save percentage. Bob wasn't pretty good this series. Every game this series he let up at least 3 goals. Not good at all.
And the final, and most important reason why Columbus lost:
1: The 5th Line Isn't Real. Trolololololololololololololol.
And now we leave you with the best stunned pic from this series:
Lulz. Hopefully Brandon Dubinsky enjoyed his tee time today. Dick.