Game 6 - Penguins Lead Series 3-2
April 28, 2014 - 7:00 pm EDT
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio / NBCSN
Opponent's Blog: Pensburgh
OK, so here we are: for the first time in more than five years, the Jackets face a win-or-go-home game in the playoffs. In that 2009 series, a largely overmatched Jackets squad rose up and gave their best effort of the series. The 2014 Jackets will need to do the same, after Saturday night the Penguins flexed their muscles and smothered Columbus.
It's going to take 60 minutes tonight. All out, all the time. As the Stars and Ducks proved last night, 58 minutes isn't good enough, no matter how well you play in those 58 minutes. Columbus needs their most complete effort.
They won't have their "complete" roster to do it, however. R.J. Umberger is out with his bevy of injuries, and for some unknown reason Jared Boll is the choice to replace him. I do not like this move. Boll isn't quick, and while physical his lack of quickness is a huge detriment in this series against the Penguins. I just don't get it.
On defense, Nikita Nikitin is out, and Nick Schultz is in, playing with James Wisniewski. I like this move, and the shuffling of pairs. Coach Todd Richards is putting his best four defensemen from this series into the top-four. It's a smart move.
It looks like Brooks Orpik remains out for Pittsburgh.
The Jackets will hopefully get a charge out of their home crowd again, which has been awesome in this series. There's obviously a chance that this game will see a higher influx of Penguins fans, since the tickets went on sale when Pittsburgh fans would have known about the game and been able to purchase them. So, what has been a 90/10 split so far in this series... well, we'll see. I hope it remains 90/10 tonight, as that crowd was a living being that helped will this team to victory in Game 4.
I won't waste a ton of time breaking down the specifics of this game (stay disciplined, don't let Pittsburgh get 50+ shots again, Bob was good and needs to be again, etc.). It's win or go home. It's staying alive against a seasoned playoff opponent who has eliminated a lot of teams over the years in these kinds of games. It's doing what the Stars and Blues could not do and forcing Game 7.
It's a tough mountain to climb.
But, the Jackets have shown they can bounce back from adversity. They'll need to show it again tonight.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(regular season: 43-32-7, 93 Points; 4th division, 7th conference)
|Boone Jenner||Ryan Johansen||Jack Skille|
|Matt Calvert||Brandon Dubinsky||Cam Atkinson|
|Nick Foligno||Artem Anisimov||Blake Comeau|
|Derek MacKenzie||Mark Letestu||Jared Boll|
|Fedor Tyutin||Jack Johnson|
|Ryan Murray||David Savard|
|Nick Schultz||James Wisniewski|
(regular season: 51-24-7, 109 Points; 1st Division, 2nd Conference)
|Chris Kunitz||Sidney Crosby||Lee Stempniak|
|Jussi Jokinen||Evgeni Malkin||James Neal|
|Beau Bennett||Brandon Sutter||Joe Vitale|
|Tanner Glass||Marcel Goc||Craig Adams|
|Kris Letang||Paul Martin|
|Rob Scuderi||Robert Bortuzzo|
|Olli Maatta||Matt Niskanen|
04/16/14 - Columbus 3 at Pittsburgh 4
04/19/14 - Columbus 4 at Pittsburgh 3 (2OT)
04/21/14 - Pittsburgh 4 at Columbus 3
04/23/14 - Pittsburgh 3 at Columbus 4 (OT)
04/26/14 - Columbus 1 at Pittsburgh 3
04/28/14 - Pittsburgh at Columbus
04/30/14 - Columbus at Pittsburgh*
Head to Head Stats
|20.0% (5-for-25)||PP%||27.3% (6-for-22)|
|72.7% (16-for-22)||PK%||80.0% (20-for-25)|
|Jussi Jokinen, 3||G leader||Boone Jenner / Jack Johnson, 3|
|Paul Martin, 8||A leader||Brandon Dubinsky, 5|
|Paul Martin, 8||Pts leader||Brandon Dubinsky / Ryan Johansen, 6|
|Kris Letang, 10||PIM leader||Blake Comeau, 10