Wednesday, April 08, 2009


“We did it for ourselves, but most of all we did it for Mr. Mac. We know he’s up there watching. I’m sure he’s sitting in his chair and has a cigar in his mouth.” - Rick Nash speaking of the late owner of the Blue Jackets, John McConnell.

A second hard-fought game against Chicago in a few days ends on a Fedor Tyutin shootout goal to give the Blue Jackets a 4-3 win and, more importantly, their first trip to the NHL playoffs. The team battled back after Chicago jumped to a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Seabrook and Bolland. By the 8:00 mark of the second, the game was tied. Vermettes scored the first Columbus goal then set up Jason Williams. Havlat and Nash scored for each side to send the game into OT. Chicago had a power play in the overtime session, but could not convert.

It is a good thing to have won the game to earn the playoff spot. Stumbling into the post-season rarely is a harbinger of success. The pressure will be off the Jackets when they next hit the ice: Friday in St. Louis then the season finale at home against Minnesota. Saturday's home crowd should better be roaring!

The drought is over! Looking ahead, their likely opponent is Vancouver, a team that has played very well down the stretch and has the game-changing Roberto Luongo is goal. We'll see if Mats Sundin earns his keep in the post-season. They didn't sign him not to be a factor in a Cup run. Captain Nash will have to best Mats and the twins for the Jackets to have a shot at advancing.

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