Folks, the Columbus Blue Jackets know they are on the precipice of history.
Throughout their two-decade existence, the second round has been a mythical place that the Blue Jackets have heard of, but never experienced. Now, they are so close they can almost taste it. For every lifelong fan, it makes this series all the more exciting; they know what the prior seasons have looked like and how special this now is for everyone involved.
Still, with a 3-0 series lead, looking ahead may be tempting for the guys in that room. That is where good leadership both in the locker room and behind the bench is a necessity.
Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said after Game 3 that he's proud of the way his team is playing, but knows that but closing out a team in a series is going to be their most difficult task to date.
"The way we're playing is the way you need to play to win hockey games, throughout the group. I think we saw a little bit too at the end where we tensed up a little bit where they had that push," said Foligno to assembled media. "We just have to get back. I liked our game toward the end of that period where we started getting back at them and started to turn the tide."
After John Tortorella's fiery pregame speech, the team knows what the mantra is and how they are going to need to play to win. As Tortorella said, no backwards steps and don't give up an inch. In simpler terms: don't let up. That's something Foligno is making apparent to anyone who's listening, too.
"We have to make sure we keep our foot on the gas," Foligno said. "They're obviously a team that's dangerous. You can't let up at all, but it's nice to be able to deliver in a home game for our crowd."
They delivered Game 3 to the loyal fans, but repeating that effort and result in Game 4 would be the biggest moment in franchise history to date. They can't take that backward step that Tortorella warned them about.
It is time for them to stay the course.