Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Johansen’

2014 NHL Playoffs: Blue Jackets beat Penguins 4-3 in OT thriller

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By Mike Majeski

A remarkable pattern has developed in the first-round series between the Blue Jackets and the Penguins. In all four games, both teams have twice held 3-1 leads — Columbus in Games 1 and 3; Pittsburgh in Games 2 and 4 — only to end up losing 4-3. Columbus center Brandon Dubinsky tied Game 4 with 24 seconds left in regulation and Nick Foligno delivered the winning goal 2:49 into overtime as the Penguins saw their 3-0 first-period advantage turn into a disheartening defeat on Wednesday night. A series they were supposed to win easily is suddenly knotted at two games apiece.

It was shades of last year when the Stanley Cup hopeful Penguins had all kinds of trouble putting the underdog New York Islanders away.

For all its talent, Pittsburgh has underachieved in recent postseasons and is now in danger of making its third first-round exit in the last four years. On Wednesday night, many of the hallmarks of the Penguins’ past playoff failures were present: the shaky goaltending by Marc-Andre Fleury; the inconsistency of their defensemen; and the lack of production from stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who combined for just one assist. There is greatness on this roster, but this is not a great team. At this point, it seems unlikely that the Penguins can win the Stanley Cup even if they survive the first round.

A few observations from an enervating Game 4:

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  • Published On Apr 23, 2014
  • Top Line: Mike Gillis firing fallout; Alex Ovechkin breaks a puck; more links

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    Coach John Tortorella of the Vancouver Canucks

    Who hired coach John Tortorella (right) is a hot button question in Vancouver these days. (Bob Frid/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • There’s no joy to be had when someone loses their job, but as Eric Duhatschek points out, Canucks GM Mike Gillis had it coming in Vancouver.

    • Who’ll take Gillis’s spot in the big chair? Trevor Linden, who will have a meddlesome owner to handle.

    • Whatever you do, don’t dare suggest that the decision to hire coach John Tortorella was made by anyone other than Gillis. Because apparently rich people have lawyers.

    • Adam Proteau says the fatal flaw for Gillis in Vancouver was that he loved his players too much. If that seems like an odd criticism, compare his performance to that of Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, the man whose team knocked off the Canucks for the Stanley Cup in 2011. Chiarelli didn’t just build a winner, he had the courage to do what was necessary to maintain it, including trading away No. 2 pick Tyler Seguin. Gillis never could have done something like that.

    Alex Ovechkin didn’t just score his 50th goal of the season last night. He broke the dang puck.

    • Looks like Ovi found himself the perfect girlfriend. She thinks it’s all about scoring goals, too.

    • The points are swell and all, but two-way play has been the key to Nathan MacKinnon’s quick success in Colorado. It’s no coincidence that this link comes after a couple about Ovechkin … or that the Avalanche are going to the playoffs and Washington likely isn’t.

    • We all laughed at him, but in the end it turned out that Claude Giroux could see the future. Quick … someone ask him for the winning MegaMillions numbers …

    • The Lightning didn’t offer an update on the condition of injured goalie Ben Bishop after Tuesday night’s win over the Maple Leafs, but there is real concern that an apparent wrist injury could prevent him from playing during the postseason. That would be a devastating blow to the Bolts’ chances against the Canadiens.

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  • Published On Apr 09, 2014