The Bolts are getting set to play their first round rival Blue Jackets on NBCSN. This is the first of a two-game set in Columbus as the Lightning will play the Blue Jackets again on Saturday afternoon (a 2pm start that was initially a 7pm start).
The Blue Jackets are embroiled in a saga with their star center Pierre-Luc Dubois, who has made it publicly clear that he wants to be traded. This has obviously caused a rift that that has affected the team on the ice. There was a lot of line shuffling in the team’s last game against the Detroit Red Wings. Dubois wasn’t played much in the first period gradually saw his ice time increase as the team struggled to score and eventually lost to the Red Wings in overtime by a score of 3-2.
John Tortorella always makes a big stink to his players about “wanting to be here” so if Dubois has been saying he wants to be traded, I can’t imagine the relationship with him and the coach will not get worse. It might not be this game, but it definitely seems like the Blue Jackets are crumbling from within. The team is 1-2-1 after the first four games of the season so obviously things haven’t started well.
Blake Coleman was taken off the NHL’s COVID Protocol list on Wednesday as the Lightning arrived in Ohio to play the Blue Jackets. It’s unclear whether he travelled with the team, but considering the timing a day before a game, it’s a good chance he will play tonight on the third line with his regular mates Barclay Goodrow and Yanni Gourde.
Curtis McElhinney is still on the list, and from my understanding means he could not have travelled with the team. I could be wrong since the Lightning haven’t fully shared their plans (we’ll know at morning skate), but it’s likely Christopher Gibson will be on the bench.
Blake Coleman no longer on NHL Covid related protocol list, good sign he could be available on trip. McElhinney still on list #TBLightning— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) January 20, 2021
Tampa Bay Lightning Lines
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Steven Stamkos
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson
Blake Coleman - Yanni Gourde - Barclay Goodrow
Pat Maroon - Mitchell Stephens - Mathieu Joseph
Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev - Luke Schenn
Columbus Blue Jackets Lines
These are the lines from the team’s last game
Mikhail Grigorenko - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Emil Bemstrom
Boone Jenner - Max Domi - Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno - Alexandre Texier - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Eric Robinson - Riley Nash - Liam Foudy
Jack Werenski - Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov - David Savard
Michael Del Zotto - Dean Kukan