CLEVELAND — The Columbus Blue Jackets made franchise history in front of the home fans at Nationwide Arena Tuesday night when they completed the four-game sweep of the NHL’s best team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Reaction was swift to the Blue Jackets’ 7-3 series-clinching victory, which earned them the right to play in the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the first time in team history, and Ohio’s other professional sports teams extended their congratulations on social media.
The Cleveland Indians, Browns and Cavaliers and Cincinnati Reds were among the first to congratulate their in-state counterparts on the history-making moment.
In addition to the major-league teams, the Blue Jackets got some love from one of their current neighbors, the Columbus Clippers, the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate, and a future one, Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew, following the completion of the sweep.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. superstar Dolph Ziggler, a native of Cleveland and graduate of both Lakewood St. Edward High School and Kent State University, extended his congratulations by posting on Twitter using multiple broom emojis.
The Blue Jackets appreciated the support from the 19,000-plus fans inside Nationwide Arena and from their fellow professional teams and athletes around the state of Ohio, but they let everyone know quickly that their designs are bigger than getting through the first round of the postseason for the first time ever.
After completing the first-ever first-round sweep of the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners, the Blue Jackets will have plenty of practice time before getting the second round underway.
The Blue Jackets will face either the Toronto Maple Leafs or Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Currently, the Maple Leafs have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with Game 4 set for the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto Wednesday night.