It's not over yet – and the Blue Jackets, as of this morning, are still in a playoff spot – but there's a very real possibility that last night was Sergei Bobrovsky's last home game in Columbus.
If that indeed turns out to be the case, well, it's not a fitting end for the two-time Vezina winner.
The Blue Jackets came into last night's game on a five-game tear, with Bobrovsky playing absolutely out of his mind over that stretch, giving up just four goals total. He gave up four in just 36 minutes before getting the hook from John Tortorella – but let's be clear about this: last night's debacle was not his fault.
There's very little Sergei Bobrovsky could have done in the moment to prevent Boston's first goal – one of the flukiest goals in recent NHL memory – and the next three were more of a product of bad defense and transition play than anything else.
The second and third goals were both the result of the Blue Jackets defense failing to clear rebounds away from Bobrovsky's crease. The third goal, in particular, was a nightmare for Bobrovsky, who saw Seth Jones and Zach Werenski tie each other up when trying to clear the rebound before putting the puck on a tee for Brad Marchand.
Boston's fourth goal – which chased Bobrovsky from the game – came on a breakaway just 46 seconds later, and was one of several odd-man rushes and breakaways that Bobrovsky faced in the second period. At that point, there wasn't much else Tortorella could have done other than pull Bobrovsky, who has essentially dragged Columbus back into the playoff discussion over the last month.
That recent stretch strengthen's Bobrovsky's case for being the greatest player to ever suit up for the franchise. His 212 wins with the club are more than twice as many as the guy in second place, Steve Mason. His 33 shutouts also lead the club by a wide margin, and his two well-earned Vezina Trophies put him in elite company among the game's historic goaltenders.
But unless the Blue Jackets can stay ahead of Montreal – or pull even with Carolina – the last image of Bobrovsky in Columbus will be him dejectedly skating to the bench after being hung out to dry by his defensemen.
Follow 1st Ohio Battery