Columbus Blue Jackets @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Series Tied 2-2
Root Sports, NBCSN, FS-O, CBC, RDS – 7:00 pm/et
Consol Energy Center – Pittsburgh, PA
We’ve all heard a lot about the Columbus crowd during this series. You’ve seen videos, stories, gifs and articles on this blog and around the Internet and just about everywhere else. Everyone has jumped to point out how the Columbus crowd has been loud. And that’s true; the Columbus crowd has been loud.
Everyone has also jumped to point out how Penguins fans are grumpy and entitled curmudgeons who won’t be satisfied with anything other than a dominating playoffs that ends with a Stanley Cup victory. Is that true? Honestly, it doesn’t really matter.
All that matters is that it’s game five. The winner pushes their opponent to the brink of elimination. You can enjoy it, you can hate it, you can curl up into a ball and wait for all of it to be over, it’s up to you. No one can tell you how to be a fan.
But… if you want to stop hearing about how Columbus fans are loud and how Penguins fans are just waiting for traffic to slow down, making some noise tonight might change those opinions. It’s up to you.
Either way, this as been an entertaining series. We’ll take a series like this over the 2012 series against the Flyers any day, regardless of who wins.
Penguins: Paul Martin (0G, 8A, 8P)
Blue Jackets: Brandon Dubinsky (1G, 5A, 6P)
Likely Starting Goaltenders:
Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury (2-2-0, 3.18 GAA, .903 Sv%)
Blue Jackets: Sergei Bobrovsky (2-2-0, 3.22 GAA, .900 Sv%)
One of those two goaltenders recently won the Vezina Trophy and is loved by the fans of his team. The other has been insulted and mocked for years and many of fans of his team think he shouldn’t be starting tonight’s game. Just by looking at those numbers, which one is which? Obviously, looking at numbers can’t tell you everything, but still.
What Happened in Game Four: Recap
“What happened in those two and a half hours is still a blur, but we’re all beginning to piece it together. It was the will of Columbus and the complacency of the Penguins. It was an awful series of events for Marc-Andre Fleury. It was the Penguins’ offense completely disappearing. It was the brilliant efforts from Ryan Johansen and Brandon Dubinsky.
But now’s not the time to devolve into Randy Quaid’s character from the “Major League” movies. Take a look at the Columbus’ goals: fluke deflection, 5-on-3 slam-dunk goal, and the worst bounce at the worst possible time for a goaltender.
Is this a bad loss? Yes. It is a major collapse. Good teams don’t blow 3-0 leads in the playoffs. Is it a surprising loss? Not anymore. We’ve all seen this fish many times before.”
Opposition Blog: The Cannon
What They’re Saying: “The Time Is Now”
“This game is the ultimate turning point, in my opinion. While a Game 7 can be a toss-up, it would be in Pittsburgh, which would obviously be a huge advantage for the Penguins. That said, Columbus is going to have to win a game at CONSOL if they want to advance. I contend that game probably needs to be tonight. To come home with even more momentum to a raucous home crowd with a chance to clinch? Yes, please.
That said, even though Fleury’s confidence might be faltering right now, the Penguins themselves are still a very experienced bunch, and they’ve been in this position many times before. This is new territory for a large section of the Jackets’ dressing room. How they handle the atmosphere will be huge. Can they continue to work and impose their will? Will they be riding too high on adrenaline from the other night once the puck drops? Will the moment look too big again for them early?
Most importantly, will a team with a lead finally be able to close out a game??”
Penguins Player(s) to Watch: Marc-Andre Fleury. His confidence has to be low after the way game four ended. How will be respond?
Blue Jackets Player(s) to Watch: Matt Calvert. He’s been all over the place.
Gif that Seems Appropriate for Today’s Game:
The Baby know how to Bring It.
Pittsburgh Penguins lines from Daily Faceoff:
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Lee Stempniak
Jussi Jokinen – Evgeni Malkin – James Neal
Joe Vitale – Brandon Sutter – Beau Bennett
Tanner Glass – Marcel Goc – Craig Adams
Brooks Orpik – Paul Martin
Rob Scuderi – Kris Letang
Olli Maatta – Matt Niskanen
Columbus Blue Jackets lines from Daily Faceoff:
Boone Jenner – Ryan Johansen – Jack Skille
Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – Cam Atkinson
R.J. Umberger – Artem Anisimov – Blake Comeau
Derek MacKenzie – Mark Letestu – Corey Tropp
Ryan Murray – James Wisniewski
Nikita Nikitin - Jack Johnson
Fedor Tyutin - David Savard