It was fun while it lasted, but it's over. The Blue Jackets playoff run--the longest in franchise history, lasted 10 games. After sweeping Tampa Bay, the team with the best record in the NHL in round one, the Jackets could not take down the team with the second best record. Boston, thanks to a 39-save night for goalie Tuukka Rask, eliminated the Jackets with a 3-0 game six win Monday night. After taking a 2-1 series lead, the Jackets finished the season by losing their last 3 games and scored only one goal in their final two home games. Rask was spectacular in game 6, but also enjoyed some puck-luck, as the Jackets, on four different occasions, hit the post--but could not score.
The off-season will have its own Blue Jackets drama. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and forward Artemi Panarin are both unrestricted free agents and it is presumed that neither will return. Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen will certainly make another effort to keep them both but following the game 6 loss, told reporters he wants players committed to the franchise.
"I think it's important moving forward that we have guys that are proud to be Blue Jackets and proud to be living in Columbus and loving it here. That's really important, that they bleed blue or whatever you want to call it," Kekalainen said. "Guys that want to be here are going to be here. Guys that don't want to be here, it's, well, good luck."
Trade deadline acquisition Matt Duchene, who led the Jackets in goals this post-season, is also an unrestricted free agent. Duchene has said that he has enjoyed being in Columbus, so we'll see if Kekalainen pursues a long-term deal with the 28-year old, who scored 31 goals this season.
Below is some of the post-game reaction following the season ending loss, including the comments of Bobrovsky and coach John Tortorella.