Who was the CBJ MVP of the first round?
It was a complete performance from top to bottom of the roster, but who stood out?
Everyone still feeling on top of the world after that Blue Jackets sweep of the Lightning? Yeah, me too.
It was a complete performance from the Jackets, with contributions from every player in the lineup. 12 different skaters scored a goal! So it’s hard to say any single player stood out. BUT WE’RE GOING TO TRY ANYWAY.
If there were an MVP award for the series, who should win? Let’s look at some candidates:
Let’s start with the most obvious. Throughout his tenure in Columbus, Bob has been one of the best goalies in the entire league. But he also earned a reputation as one who struggles in the postseason. That narrative was put to rest over the last week. Bob delivered a .931 save percentage and 2.01 goals against average. This after consistently allowing 3 or more goals in his previous playoff games. He saved 2.24 goals above average, which is third among goalies in these playoffs so far. He got more help from his teammates than he ever has, but there were times when Tampa got quality chances and Bob stepped up to maintain a narrow lead.
Duchene proved he was worth the price paid to acquire him at the trade deadline. He was an impact player on both ends of the ice. He led the team with three goals, four assists, and seven points. His 5v5 CF% of 54.22 was best among Columbus forwards. Oh, and he won 57.4% of his face-offs. Best of all, he looked like he was having the time of his life. Maybe that’s enough to get him to re-sign here this summer?
After a rough start to the season, Oliver Bjorkstrand has exploded in 2019. His hot streak continued into the postseason. In the line shuffle in Game 1, he got promoted to the top line with Artemi Panarin and Pierre-Luc Dubois, and he did not look out of place. He led CBJ forwards with a 5v5 FF% of 52.00 in 16 minutes of ice time per game. His two goals were the game winners of the final two contests in Nationwide Arena.
He may be just 19 years old, but Sexy Texi is a grown-derriere man. He showed no fear in throwing his body around the ice. And he contributed offensively as well, with two goals in Game 4. He earned a spot on the second power play unit, which was as lethal as the top unit was. Crazy to think that he has only played in six NHL games, with four of them coming in this series. The team is undefeated with him in the lineup.
Seth Jones and Zach Werenski
I’m lumping them together because they did so much together as a unit. Each played over 100 minutes in the series, to lead the team. Jones was on ice for 10 goals for and 4 against, while Werenski was on for 9 for and just 2 against. Jones scored the game winner in Game 1, while Werenski scored the game winner in Game 2. Both of those goals came on the power play. The one knock on Jones is that he was the victim of turnovers that led to the first Tampa goals of Game 1 and Game 4. But he made up for it!
What’s your choice?
I’m taking Duchene narrowly over Bob. What do you think? Vote below, and defend your choice in the comments.
Who was the MVP of Round 1?
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