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Blue Jackets coach likes team’s confidence in postseason

Apr 21, 2014, 9:44 AM EDT

Todd Richards, Matt Calvert, Cam Atkinson AP

Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards knew his team didn’t have much experience headed into the playoffs. With the number of young guys on the team and transplants from elsewhere, there was a question as to whether or not facing the Pittsburgh Penguins might cause them to be intimidated.

As Terry Koshan of QMI Agency shares, Richards feels his questions about his team have been put to rest with how they’ve responded through two games and a tied series with the Penguins.

“There was not any defining moment that it hit me that our young guys were ready,” Richards said on Sunday. “There were (regularly) moments in their games where they showed me and the rest of the coaching staff that they were ready for this. There was a little bit of a question coming into the playoffs about whether we were ready, and I think the guys have answered that.”

Those young guys Richards refers to are forwards Ryan Johansen, Boone Jenner, and Cam Atkinson along with defenseman Ryan Murray among others.

The Jackets won Game 2 in overtime when Matt Calvert, another young guy, scored his second goal of the game and sent the series to Columbus all even. With production and fearlessness like that, big things can happen.

  1. jaybaileys - Apr 21, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    His team is playing pretty damn good. If they stay out of the box they have a real shot. As far as the coach goes he basically called out Crosby saying he didn’t need to shadow him. Any one of his guys were doing a job on him. If Crosby doesn’t respond to that, I don’t know what he’s waiting for. I sure hope Mario picked up the phone and had a little heart to heart with his Capt. He needs to quit pouting and playing like the player he is supposed to be.

    • hockey412 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      He’s still shadowing him, he just said he didn’t feel like he needed Dubinsky to do it because anyone could…but you’re right if he doesn’t respond to that, shame on him. I haven’t noticed him ‘pouting’, but he’s been getting shut down, and for the most part he’s keeping to the outside. Not good.

      But CBJ is a good team playing great, Dubinsky’s been a beast, Johansen looked great last game. Crosby and Malkin (and Kunitz and Neal) need to find the ‘on’ switch…I’m just happy Fleury looks how he does, knock on wood.

      • dolanster - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        Yah, I thought the interesting thing about game 2 was that Fleury played really, really well — and they still lost. One return to MAF’s old playoff self meltdown and the Pens could actually be in trouble here. Jackets are getting pucks to the net and need to keep doing so.

  2. bcsteele - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    I think the Pens have underestimated the Jackets for sure. There’s no question who’s the better team on paper. However, with the Pens defense (mostly Letang) behaving the way they have along with the coaching staff being to aggressive (per the article written the other day; no reason to put 4 forwards out during a power play when you’re up 3 to 1) and acting invincible the Jackets may well have a shot.

    The young guys on the Jackets are clearly out working the veterans on the Pens which is absolutely unacceptable if I’m a Pens fan or anybody in their corner. The only thing I can say for them is I at least don’t feel like flower is to blame. I feel like he could be a little better but he’s mostly getting hung out to dry.

    Not a fan of either team but I’ve been hooked on watching these games; good series so far and gonna be interesting to see how the Pens respond.

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