Atkinson: We're Not Viewing It As A Huge Upset

The Blue Jackets' sweep of Tampa Bay was historic, but not for the players responsible for it

The DA Show
April 19, 2019 - 11:17 am

After winning the Presidents’ Trophy this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning, many experts assumed, would reach, if not win, the Stanley Cup. 

Instead, they were swept in the first round by the Columbus Blue Jackets, who won their first playoff series in franchise history.

Just don’t tell them it was an upset.

“I try to stay off social media (before the playoffs) because you hear the buzz. You hear what all the so-called experts thought about that series going in,” Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson said on The DA Show. “Every game that we won, it wasn’t how well we played; it was how poorly Tampa played. I just try to zone that stuff out.”

Columbus won Game 1, 4-3, on the road. The last three games of the series weren’t that close: 5-1, 3-1 and 7-3.

“Once the playoffs hit, it doesn’t matter how good of a regular season you had,” Atkinson said. “If the other team wants it more, they’re going to win. Sure enough, we played the right way every single game, and we got the result we wanted. Going forward, (experts) might switch how they feel about it, but we’re not going to listen to them. We’re just going to stick to our game plan. We know what we have in this locker room, and we know the product that we put out there every single day. That’s what good teams do.”

The Blue Jackets aren’t worried about a letdown, either. Their first-round sweep of Tampa Bay was historic, yes, but to them it was unsurprising. 

“The experts are going to say what they have to say about us, but it was a good series” Atkinson said. “We’re definitely not viewing it as, ‘Oh my God, that was a huge upset.’ We just think we’re a better team and we’re playing the right way at the right time. We have a couple days off, and we’re going to live in the present. I’m excited to get back on the ice. We’re excited for the second round. We’re in new territory here."