Losses are never easy. Particularly losses that end a playoff run that captivated an entire city.
The Blue Jackets' Game 6 loss to the Boston Bruins Monday night was one of those losses, and the Columbus 2018–19 season is officially in the books, but most of the sellout crowd at Nationwide Arena stuck it out to salute the team for what they'd accomplished.
The team that wedged its way into the postseason on the 81st game only to shock the hockey world sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round heard loud rounds of “C-B-J!” chants as they tapped their sticks on the ice to show appreciation.
Winger Artemi Panarin, facing a big decision on where he wants to play next season, soaked it in, leaving the ice last and returning the show of appreciation to the crowd.
It's been nearly 20 years in the making, but the city has fallen in love with their team.