Perhaps you thought the Columbus Blue Jackets, in only their second Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance in franchise history, were just happy to make the cut and give the Pittsburgh Penguins the what-for until their inevitable elimination.
Clue No. 1 that this isn’t the case: The way the Jackets have outworked the Penguins in splitting the first two games of their series. Clue No. 2: Check out the countdown to the Cup the Jackets have in their dressing room, adding a puck for each playoff win (via the Jackets):
The wooden plaque has four spaces for each round through the conference finals, and then two spaces for Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, then a third above it and a fourth above that one under the label “Stanley Cup Champions.”
The first puck from their Game 2 victory over the Penguins has already been placed. (If the Jackets really wanted to rub it in, they'd have opponents sign these pucks on the post-series handshake line.)
"We really believe in that room that we can go a long way and do some damage in these playoffs," Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen told Puck-Rakers, which hipped us to the plaque. "You never know what can happen. We really want to win this series. That's the first step. But we have a bigger vision, a bigger goal."
And now they’re 15 pucks away.
Geez, imagine if the Jackets go all the way only to have Steve Miller as a linesman in their final victory, snatching away the last puck to parts unknown? So sad...