The Tampa Bay Lightning are the current President’s Trophy winner and heavy favourite to win the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay are wetting the bed against the Blue Jackets. The team with all the firepower is now down 2-0 in the series heading into Columbus.
The Columbus Blue Jackets, who have never won a playoff series, are headed home to face the nasty Tampa Bay Lightning. Everybody says the playoffs are a different animal than the regular season and we are witnessing this first hand.
This Columbus team is led by players like Foligno, Panarin and Bobrovsky. These players are working hard to bring the hockey world to a standstill. The other factor this team has is John Tortorella. Torts is a wild man wrecking ball and he has this team playing right like the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning.
Game 1 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Game one of the best or seven series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Columbus Blue Jackets started as expected. The Lightning fired up the board first with a few beauties from Killorn, Cirelli and Gourde. The Lightning then fell asleep.
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Tampa came out in the second and third and did absolutely nothing. The Blue Jackets then capitalized on their lack of play and, with the lead of Foligno, they started mounting the comeback.
Foligno grabs the loose puck just outside the Columbus blue line and turns on the jets. Coming in on the breakaway Foligno gives Vasilevski all he can handle as he puts the puck in low blocker side.
That march just continued to grow stronger and stronger after that goal as the Blue Jackets caught a whiff of determination.
David Savard answers next for the Jackets as he beats Hedman like a red-headed stepchild. He then finds the back of the net again on Vasilevski’s blocker side.
It was only a matter of time now before the Blue Jackets could tie it up.
Anderson comes down on a short handed 2 on 2 and cuts across the ice. He then sucks Vasilevski across the crease and slides it home low blocker side. The short handed goal tied it up with about 8 minutes left in the third period.
It really was just a matter of time before the wheels just completely fell off the cart for the Lightning.
Seth Jones wheels without the puck to the slot and is fed a beauty. He then puts it where? You guessed it, low blocker side. Maybe the Lightning haven’t figured out that the Blue Jackets have a good scouting report on Vasilevski.
Game 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
This game started out beautiful if you are John Tortorella and the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets ended up on board first and early, never looking back.
Columbus who just squeaked in the playoffs on the second last night of the season have managed to put the Lightning backs against the wall in the series. Columbus pulls out a 5-1 win in Tampa on Friday night.
Tic tac toe, 8 of 9 goals have been blocker side against Vasilevski. You can’t say that this won’t be a factor as the series switches over to Columbus.
This territory isn’t a stranger either to the Columbus Blue Jackets as they led the defending champion Washington Capitals last year 2-0 in the series. If there is a bright spot for Tampa, this is it.