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Lightning Round: Are Blue Jackets fans done with John Tortorella?

Responses vary.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Last summer we spent the humid months suffering in many ways. Thought pieces came out about Coach Jon Cooper, along the lines of this one published yesterday by our SBNation friends at Jackets’ Cannon. On one hand, Tortorella’s coaching led them to the second round last season, and a playoff berth for four years in a row. On the other hand...

Point/Counterpoint: Should the Blue Jackets keep Tortorella as head coach? [Jackets Cannon]

There are several reasons that stand out to move on from Torts, the following chief among them: improper utilization of his players, lack of adjustments from game to game, lowers the ceiling of the roster overall, and inconsistent “teaching moments.”

Every coach has players they ride, but you didn’t see Jon Cooper playing Pat Maroon big minutes: he trusted his offensive players to eventually create opportunities, and they did. Torts could learn a thing or two: play your best guys in offensive positions.

Perhaps playing offensive players more would have given Columbus more of a chance. A quick look at the series indicates that the problem might lie deeper than deployment and head straight to coaching systems:

The folks over at the First Ohio Battery continue to feel rosy about the team, however.


They got glimpses of what 22-year-old Pierre-Luc Dubois, 21-year-old Emil Bemstrom, 20-year-old Liam Foudy and 20-year-old Alexandre Texier will become in the future.Their top pairing of defensemen – 25-year-old Seth Jones and 23-year-old Zach Werenski – is already one of the best in the NHL. With a pair of talented 26-year-old goaltenders in Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins, the Blue Jackets should be set in the net going forward.

Eh. Fair enough, especially about Korpisalo.

In other news, Brayden Point made it to third place in the playoff power rankings at Bleacher Report.

The win enabled the Tampa Bay Lightning to beat a Columbus Blue Jackets team that pulled one of the biggest upsets in league history against them last season, and Point was in no mood to repeat history.

He dented the Blue Jackets’ morale with another overtime winner in the epic eight-period series opener and has continued to be the offensive point man, literally, in the absence of Steven Stamkos.

Last Word on Hockey pointed out the usual stuff about depth and how Ondrej Palat should probably score a little going forward.

Brayden Point Leads Tampa Bay Lightning in Playoff Series Win [Last Word on Hockey]

The Lightning will need to continue to see work from goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. He was able to show flashes of brilliance in certain games and fell flat in others. The Lightning are a very strong defensive team and Vasilevskiy has been able to benefit from that. Because of that, his flaws aren’t as apparent, but they are certainly there. For any team to be able to win the Stanley Cup they need to have their goaltender to perform well and win with that.

In Geo’s Morning After Thoughts, he pointed out that this series made everything we feel about the team true, again.

Morning After Thoughts: 422 Days Later [Raw Charge]

During his press conference, Jon Cooper was asked about if the team had learned from last year. Cooper’s responded to that question in his best deadpan with “Well, we’ve had 422 days to think about it. But who’s counting?” Who’s counting indeed? Well, no more need to count because the team got that stink out of their nostrils, the monkey off their back. They beat the Blue Jackets and get to move on.

The Tampa Bay Times also mentioned absolution.

Tampa Bay Lightning close out 1st stop on redemption tour [via The Ledger]

“It’s funny how the hockey gods work,” Cooper said. “To go through what we did last year and get second-guessed on a lot of the things we did, go through the (next) season and then have the pause, and everything that’s happened. Then, during reseeding and new rules, still end up playing the same team. It’s easy now to sit up here and say you wanted them, but it was good to get them and good to get this result.”

Yesterday’s Games

New York Islanders 4, Washington Capitals 0 — NYI wins series 4-1
With the series win for the Islanders, the Lightning will either play the Boston Bruins in the first round (if Philadelphia moves on), or the Montreal Canadiens (if they manage to take the series in seven games).

Dallas Stars 7, Calgary Flames 3 — DAL wins series 4-2
The Calgary Flames blew a 3-0 lead that ended up being a 7-3 victory for the Dallas Stars, who move on to the second round and will face the Colorado Avalanche in the first round. The winner between Vancouver and St. Louis will play Vegas.

Matthew Tkachuk did not take the blown lead well.

Today’s Games

We’re approaching the end of the real first round. Will any of these teams be eliminated today?

Philadelphia Flyers “@” Montreal Canadiens — Game 6 (Philly leads 3-2)

Brendan Gallagher to require surgery for broken jaw, will miss rest of series [Habs Eyes on the Prize]

Lavoie first reported the broken jaw Wednesday night, and confirmed his report on Thursday. Since then, Pierre LeBrun reported that he received confirmation on the injury from Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin.

The Nate Thompson experience needs to end [Broad Street Hockey]

It’s not fair to compare the Flyers’ penalty kill to the Canadiens’ in the regular season, but the Flyers had six forwards (the previous five plus Giroux) with great penalty killing numbers while Thompson struggled in Montreal. The Flyers’ forwards allowed 80 (or less) shot attempts against per 60 minutes, while Thompson allowed 110 CA/60 with Montreal. Relative to his teammates on the Canadiens, Thompson was on the ice for 16 more shot attempts against per 60 minutes, 6.22 more shots against per 60 minutes, and 1.82 more expected goals against per 60 minutes (0.93 actual goals). Simply put, it’s not good.

St. Louis Blues “@” Vancouver Canucks — Game 6 (Vancouver leads 3-2)

Vladimir Tarasenko to return to St. Louis for shoulder evaluation [St. Louis Game Time]

After several games where his presence on the ice was negligible, fans started to have a sneaking suspicion that he wasn’t 100% yet, that he was holding back play. He sat out Sunday’s game against the Canucks, and again, he sat out Monday’s win. He was deemed “unfit to play.”

Wake With Elias- August 20, 2020: Motte Damn! Canucks Retake Series Lead! [Nucks Misconduct]

Tyler Motte, who’s been doing an outstanding job defensively came through big time, scoring two spectacular goals including the game winner for the Canucks. They also got a big game from a player who’s been taking a ton of criticism in the playoffs so far, as Jake Virtanen, playing on a line with Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller rewarded Travis Green’s confidence with his best night of the post season. Virtanen got an assist on the Miller goal that started the comeback, then sniped one past Jake Allen to tie it at 3-3 in the second.

Who ya got?


Who will win the series between the Flyers and Canadiens?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    (70 votes)
  • 26%
    (25 votes)
95 votes total Vote Now


Who will win the series between the Blues and the Canucks?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    St. Louis
    (19 votes)
  • 77%
    (64 votes)
83 votes total Vote Now