Taylor Chorney knew this was going to happen.
Heading into the final day of the regular season, there were still three possible opponents for the Caps for the first round of the playoffs. There were so many scenarios for which team would finish where in the standings, it was hard to keep track of them all.
But Chorney knew his Columbus Blue Jackets were ultimately going to end up playing the Caps.
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“I started seeing the way things were going to shake up and I just kind of figured it was going to happen,” Chorney said after practice on Saturday. “I knew that the way it was working out and we were playing well, there was only a couple teams we could face and I figured, why not play these guys just the way it's been going so far? It's just sort of the way it worked out.”
Less than two months ago, Chorney was a member of the Washington Capitals. The trade for Michal Kempny forced the team to place Chorney on waivers, however, where he was claimed by Columbus.
Now as the Blue Jackets face Washington in the first round, Chorney finds himself representing the visitors against the team he signed with back in 2015.
“It's a little bit weird coming into the rink for that last game,” Chorney said. “The time of the year, it's springtime. You've experienced that before coming up to the rink where it's nice outside, everyone's got the jersey on.”
“The hard part, you've got some good buddies over there that it's tough,” he added. “Maybe you see yourself playing with them a little bit longer, but there's a great group of guys here too. They've been super welcoming.”
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Considering he was with Washington just a few weeks ago, however, Chorney’s new teammates have been probing him to see if there is any inside info he can give them to help them in this series.
“Guys have wanted to know and even some of the coaches, just some little tendencies and stuff,” he said. “But everybody watches so much video nowadays and it's not like I've got any secrets that are going to swing the series one way or the other.”
Chorney has a similar role in Columbus as he did in Washington as a depth defenseman. He has only played in one game for the Jackets and it seems unlikely he will suit up against the Caps unless there are injuries on the blue line.
Playing against his former teammates would be about the only thing that could make this series weirder for Chorney. If called upon, though, he would be ready.
“You hate to be too cliche, but it really is kind of just part of the business. You've got to be able to take your time or you kind of process it and try to turn the page as quick as you can.”