CBJ Leads 1-0
Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Amalie Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: USA, Fox Sports, Sportsnet 360, TVAS
Opponent SBNation Site: The Cannon
So Wednesday night didn’t exactly go as planned.
The Tampa Bay Lightning got out to a dominant 3-0 lead within the first 18 minutes of the game, sparking the likes of social media to overreact and call the Bolts the Cup Champions. But then over the course of the next 40 minutes, they slowly allowed the Columbus Blue Jackets to eat away at their three-goal, then two-goal, then one-goal lead before a dagger from Seth Jones with a little more than five minutes left in the third to complete the comeback.
And before we knew it, the Lightning had lost. They used up one of the three strikes they were allowed in the first round in the first game, at home to boot. Suddenly, the Lightning were a bust who didn’t know how to play in the playoffs. The Hockey Men were right, it seemed, the Lightning were frauds.
But that is also an overreaction.
Remember the Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals from a season ago? They were down 2-0 to the same Blue Jackets and on the road for game three. Did they let losing home ice to the Blue Jackets get them down? No. They won game three in double overtime and fought their way to the Stanley Cup. The road to the Stanley Cup isn’t over for the Lightning. Far from it, it has just begun. There will be ups and downs, but throughout it all, there will always be one constant: this hockey team is freaking awesome.
So now that the Lightning have received their yearly kick in the pants, they should be ready to play a full 60 unrelenting minutes against the Blue Jackets in the only way they know how. These same Lightning went 17-1-1 in the regular season following a loss. They know how to pick themselves up after a loss. Unlike Connor McDavid’s team, they don’t let losing streaks drag on.
Referencing last postseason, the Lightning also got down 0-1 against the Boston Bruins in the second round. They were good in that game, but they failed to take advantage of their chances and allowed the Bruins to win that extra little bit of space. Sound familiar? Well, the Lightning went on to win four in a row and make the Conference Finals for the third time in four seasons.
I think they’ll be fine.
So looking ahead to the second game in the series, both Matthew Esteves and GeoFitz4 wrote very detailed and clear-headed breakdowns of the previous game and what the Lightning need to do in order to succeed moving forward.
Yesterday, the Lightning initially planned to have practice on Thursday morning, but they didn’t end up on the ice until noon, and it was an optional skate for the players. Whether it was scheduling or the team preferring to have meetings rather than skate on the ice, it’s good to see them understand and face their problems raather than try and skate it off.
Jon Cooper walked into the media room at the Ice Sports Forum for his press scrum.— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) April 11, 2019
Reporter: The sun came up today.
Cooper: It did. Well, we're in Tampa.
For now, we are going to assume the lineups for both teams will be the same for game two.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Tyler Johnson
Yanni Gourde - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph
Adam Erne - Cedric Paquette - JT Miller
Scratched: Danick Martel, Ryan Callahan
Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Jan Rutta
Scratched: Cameron Gaunce, Braydon Coburn
Injured: Anton Stralman
Columbus Blue Jackets
Artemi Panarin - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Cam Atkinson
Ryan Dzingel - Matt Duchene - Josh Anderson
Nick Foligno - Boone Jenner - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Alexandre Texier - Riley Nash - Brandon Dubinsky
Zach Werenski - Seth Jones
Markus Nutivaara - David Savard
Dean Kukan - Scott Harrington