Was that a wild night or what?
Last night we got to watch history, very long history, as the very first Stanley Cup Playoff Game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning went to a 5th overtime before we had a winner. Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Lightning did score halfway through the 5th overtime, resulting in them taking Game 1, but we had our own accomplishments.
With 65 minutes of ice time, Seth Jones destroyed the record kept since 1997 for a single player’s ice time during an NHL game. Zach Werenski followed him with just over 61 minutes, setting a personal record of his own. Another big record was set by Joonas Korpisalo, exceeding the 74 save record in an NHL game for a goalie, having 85 saves last night. His focus and agility to save shots as I have never seen, allowing his team to fight as long as they could to try and pull out a win. Last night there was no shortage of skill or heart on this Blue Jacket’s team, and hats off to our opponent as well, Tampa Bay gave us a strong fight, and although we didn’t win, that fight made us better as a team.
At nights end, Korpisalo only allowed 3 goals all night in 3 regular periods and 4 and a half additional overtime periods. This game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning also took the 4th longest game in the NHL record books. Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning won this game, but for a team that has been the joke of the NHL for being “unable” to reach the level of the other, longer-established teams, I think we made our point we are here to compete with the best, as one of the best.
Looking ahead, Game 2 in the series will begin tomorrow at 3 PM on Fox Sports Ohio. It will be just as interesting as last night, as we get to see the true endurance of both teams. After playing for nearly 160 minutes with only 1 day of rest between, we will see the fight or lack of, each team can bring back to the ice. This isn’t a sprint, whichever team wins this series will continue on to the next in just days, as the NHL tries to efficiently complete the 2019-2020 season during a pandemic. For how charged and ready our team was in the press room late last night, I have every confidence we will return tomorrow afternoon, ready and hungry for more great competition with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last night was a long and intense game, but it was just that, one game! It’s exciting to think of what lies ahead for this series, and although the situation for our delay was sudden and sad, I feel this playoff run was worth the wait.
Let’s Go Jackets!