Wow! What a season the Columbus Blue Jackets gave us, it was by far more than we, as fans could have ever asked for from this team. It didn’t start off that way, a 6-10-2 record was the beginning of every casual fan jumping off the Columbus Blue Jacket bandwagon they had hitched themselves to at the end of 2012-2013. The Blue Jackets righted the ship however and ended the season on a 37-22-5 run to finish the season 43-32-7, good enough for 7th place in the Eastern Conference. Which as we all know was good enough to earn the franchise their second ever playoff berth, this time felt different. Until they blew a 3-1 lead to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 and the nightmares of 2009 crept into the fans head.
This Columbus Blue Jacket team has more heart, grit, and resolve than any team they have had in the past. The Blue Jackets came into Game 2, fresh off blowing a 2 goal lead and found themselves in a 3-1 hole in the second period, but found someway to push the game into overtime. Where Matt Calvert gave the Columbus Blue Jackets and their fans its first ever playoff win, and you could hear the eruption from Columbus in Pittsburgh.
Then came time for the 5th line to make themselves heard, and heard they were. The Blue Jackets again blew a 3-1 lead in game 3, behind a crowd that could only be described as speaker blowing LOUD! They would lose game 3, and find themselves down 3-0 in the 1st period of game 4. This group didn’t fold, with the 5th line behind them even down 3, the gritty Blue Jackets found a way back into the game. Brandon Dubinsky tied it up with :24 seconds to go, then Nick Foligno blew the roof off of Nationwide Arena when his shot beat Marc-Andre Fleury just minutes into overtime, Foligno then pulled off one hell of a celebration.
In the end the Blue Jackets did not have enough horses to run with the Pens, and lost in 6 games, but not before treating the Nationwide faithful to one hell of a comeback in the final minutes of game 6. Down 4-0 with a little over 9 minutes to play in the 3rd period, the Pens let off the gas and the Blue Jackets put their foot firmly on the gas pedal. The Blue Jackets scored 3 goals in little under 5 minutes, giving them a chance to tie the game in the waning minutes. The Blue Jackets fell short in the end but not for lack of effort or heart, and gave the people attending the game and the ones still watching on TV a ride they will not soon forget.
Wether it was the franchise record 8 game win streak, or the playoff run that had this city buzzing with excitement, the Blue Jackets gave this city a much-needed boost. It brought the casual fan in, and will hopefully build new fandom for years to come as this team is on the rise. They have a young nucleus, and a front office that is in it to win it, the future is bright for the Columbus Blue Jackets and this fan wants to thank them for the hell of a ride they took us on.