Last night was an amazing game, and a perfect way to cap off a series. Yes, it could have been wrapped up on Friday night, but nothing beats a 3 – 0 shutout to usher the Blue Jackets into the true Stanley Cup Playoffs! Although Zach Werenski was expected not to play he returned to the ice to finish out the series, a great asset as he had the first goal of Game 5 last night. Something we didn’t expect, Elvis Merzlikins will be out a few weeks due to a groin injury suffered in Game 4. Joonas Korpisalo was rested and ready though, making some incredible and unpredictable saves.
A player to watch, Liam Foudy, scored the second goal of Gave 5. A great accomplishment in itself, but when you only played twice in the regular season, then score your first career goal in the qualifiers during a pandemic, against your inspiration for playing the game, your home team, that puts you on the radar fast! This young man, only 20 proved he was a force, playing a little in this series, but this makes him a great backup, and although assets are always great, they are especially now in the quarantine bubble.
Your final goal of the night was an empty-net by Captain Nick Foligno, just threading the needle home and to a sure win for his team, as the Maple Leaf’s continued to do their best. You must give credit to the Maple Leafs, they were a strong force to reckon with, and given all the changes and long break due to Covid-19, they gave us a great warmup for what is sure to be an even stronger battle to come. We will have only a day before meeting Tampa Bay Lightning, a team we beat last year bad, and could be out for revenge. We have made it into the playoffs, and although that is cause for celebration, the real work is still ahead, the work to stay in it. Game 1 puck drop is scheduled for Tuesday, August 11th at 3 PM.