The season that the Columbus Blue Jackets put forth proved admirable but in the end carries one very unfortunate distinction: the team that fell a tiebreaker short of a postseason berth. As the Los Angeles Kings showed last year, all it takes is just getting into the dance to have a shot in the Western Conference.
“There’s pride and disappointment all wrapped up together,” Coach Todd Richards told the Coshocton Tribune. “I’m real proud of the team: the way they played, where we were at, where we were able to get to. But there’s a huge disappointment that we came up one point short. It takes a lot of the flair out of the good things you were able to do.”
This must sting especially painful for the Blue Jackets given that this tiny margin for a postseason berth came in a lockout-shortened season. If only there was more time.
Regardless, it was a promising year for Columbus that had the trajectory of your formulaic sports movie — that is, right up until the end.
The Blue Jackets entered 2013 as complete underdogs that were not expected to make the postseason let alone escape the conference. The team has never finished higher than third in its division, so give them the check in the classic underdog box. They started disastrously, winning two of their first eight, before rallying at the end to win eight of nine. Check under the Hollywood comeback box.
But in the end, Columbus needed help from other teams and their 2-1 loss in Los Angeles on April 18 ultimately cost them. No movie-script ending for this team.