The Columbus Blue Jackets were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention (based on a 95-point Playoff line) in a manner that was just... wrong.
Drew Doughty -- who is barely on pace to match his underperforming 2010-11 season, before he held out to be paid more than the more-productive Anze Kopitar (just saying) -- scored the game-winning goal with officially 0:00.4.
What actually happened... well, let's just say it is what fans in Columbus have come to expect from Toronto:
For them to do nothing.
And it's all as simple as looking at the clock.
Ah, yes... that thing with the numbers on it, which conveniently stopped during the final flurry... long enough to have nullified the goal and sent the game into overtime.
Fox Ohio's Ray Crawford can call it "clock operator error." Actually, he more than likely has to be diplomatic about it.
I, however, don't. That call was bull$#!+.
The worst part is... unlike 24 hours before, the Blue Jackets had a shot. Despite a hell of a shot by Justin Williams in the first and an R.J. Umberger turnover that led to a Dustin Penner goal in the second... the Jackets tied the game up each time. The first tying goal came from -- less surprising every day -- Derek Dorsett, after a sweet pass from Derick Brassard between the feet. The second, from Colton Gillies off a pass through the slot by Antoine Vermette.
However, despite those goals... the one that counted -- and shouldn't have -- was the one that, at least mathematically, has now put the Jackets' roster into "audition mode."
Unfortunately, it is what it is. The Jackets had everything in their power to avoid this situation weeks... hell, months ago. A little effort here, a little... no, a lot of sound defense there, maybe some goal scoring.
No team -- not even the Blue Jackets -- deserved to go out like this.
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