The Blue Jackets don't care about your bracket.
Then they went out and got swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets, becoming the second President's Trophy victor to do that.
Josh Anderson leads the Blue Jackets with a plus-25 in 82 games played this season. Then Steven Stamkos finally made a decision to show up to the series, and the Lightning managed to finally add some pressure.
In Game 4, it was exactly the same situation as his goal on an odd-man rush at the 2:09 mark of the first period came just a minute-and-a-half after the Penguins scored on the game's first shift, erasing any momentum they may have been able to build.
And the Lightning, who created history in the regular season by becoming the second team in National Hockey League history to finish with 62 wins, are responsible for one of the most shocking storylines to come out of the First Round so far. "A very structured team over there, played to their systems, didn't waver and outplayed us for four games". It's about as unlikely a result as you could possibly imagine. In fact, statistically, there are at least six playoff series that were bigger upsets than the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Lightning. John Tortorella has never been known for his subtlety.
Sergei Bobrovsky has the Columbus Blue Jackets on the brink of sweeping a playoff series that hardly anyone thought they could win.
The Islanders trailed for less than five minutes across four games against the Penguins, whose 13th straight post-season appearance ended quietly. And the player who put up the best offensive season of the salary cap era failed to score a goal and got himself suspended for a game. The Penguins wouldn't go without a fight, at least not Patric Hornqvist who chose to trade jabs with red-hot goalie Robin Lehner.
During the 2013-14 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Montreal Canadiens made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Other than perhaps the play of the two goalies (and especially Robin Lehner in the Islanders' net), that line was probably the difference in the series. On the sequence that led to the penalty on McDonagh, both Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point had the puck but were unable to find a passing lane or the space to transport the puck out of the zone, and their turnovers would keep the Lightning hemmed in. Atkinson connected on an empty-netter with a minute left in the game.
It was yet another tough start for Martin Jones when Vegas scored early and set the tone for a commanding shutout win. Adding insult to injury, Kucherov completely lost his composure in Game 2, earning a one-game suspension after needlessly drilling Blue Jackets defenceman Markus Nutivaara into the boards.
Toronto will play Boston at home in Game 3 Monday, and DeBrusk will be in the lineup.
Tampa Bay was on the attack for the entire third period. Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his 15th career playoff shutout and the Golden Knights head back to the Shark Tank a win away from the second round. But when you have expectations like the Tampa Bay Lightning did, the only way to take the narrative is in the pits of pessimism and frustration, an area the Montreal Canadiens are all too familiar with.
In Game 3, it was a picture flawless snipe from a awful angle that tied the game just one minute after the Penguins had taken an early lead.