So many that it was regarded as one of the best seasons in the NHL's history.
Didn't think the Columbus Blue Jackets would sweep the Tampa Bay Lightning? No one thought they could take down one of the best regular season teams in National Hockey League history in a seven-game series.
And what a season it was.
The Tampa Bay Lightning won 62 games this season, more than anyone in the history of ever.
"The parity in our league, we talk about it all the time", Leafs coach Mike Babcock said.
"Nothing was our way in the series", he said.
"Typically when things are going really well for you and you're having a lot of success, at least from my experience, the longer that success was coming, the easier it was to forget how you created that success", Capitals forward T.J. To wit, the Blue Jackets managed 48.6 percent of the shot attempts, 50.1 percent of the shots and 48.7 percent of the scoring chances at five-a-side through the first three games.
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The night was satisfying for Bobrovsky - he hasn't been great in the playoffs the last two seasons - and the Blue Jackets, who were 2-8 at Nationwide Arena in three previous postseason appearances. The emotions in Columbus are running high, as were the odds against them to win the series against Tampa Bay.
Heading into the NHL Playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning was everyone's favorite to win it all. "They executed their game plan". "Everybody's that close. In the end, we just couldn't find our game".
Rookie Alexandre Texier, who was brought over after his season ended in the Finnish league, scored his first NHL goal and later added one of the empty-netters. Kyle Connor had a pair of goals for Winnipeg in the victory, with Kevin Hayes, Patrik Laine, Brandon Tanev, and Dustin Byfuglien also finding the back of the net. The famous Civil War smoothbore cannon boomed again and again, enough times for a touchdown and the extra point in a 7-3 win. While true, too, that Kucherov was forced to sit a game due to suspension, Tampa Bay's all-star line, which combined for 318 points in the regular season, managed to hit the scoresheet just five times. "I know as you get going later in the year, the guys have certain goals or milestones that they can reach and one of the special things about our team was they pushed for that". Tampa's Art Ross victor Nikita Kucherov missed Game Three after boarding Markus Nutivaara.
"A bounce here, a bounce there maybe it's a different game", Lightning wing Ryan Callahan said. Not only were they loud and absolutely electric throughout all 60 minutes of each game, but the fans continued to chant, yell, and root on their favorite team.