2016-17 Season Breakdown: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
An old friend coaches the Blue Jackets to a season sweep of the Lightning.
Two teams are battling it out for the Stanley Cup on catfish-laden ice. Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Lightning are not one of those two teams. In order to fill the void for Lightning fans, Raw Charge is breaking down the past season team by team to see who helped and who hurt the season.
Columbus Blue Jackets
November 25, 2016 Tampa 3, Columbus 5
Preview by Achariya: “Who the heck are the Columbus Blue Jackets this season, aside from a better team than they were last season? Under John Tortorella, they apparently have a backbone, some ‘come from behind grittiness’ that allows them to win, and a record that has them at 4th in the tough Metro division.”
Recap by Clark J Brooks: “At this point [8:35 into the first period], Columbus had scored twice on Lightning netminder Ben Bishop on their first three shots. Meanwhile at the other end of the ice, Tampa Bay wouldn’t record their first attempt on Sergei Bobrovsky until 10:05.”
November 29, 2016 Tampa 1, Columbus 5
Preview by Bethelhub: “Am I in the locker room? No. Am I on the coaching staff? Not hardly. Is this the greatest analysis of what the team needs to do to be successful? Barely. But at times the team has been quite lackluster and sometimes I feel the team doesn’t understand its full potential as well as its recent successful past. The Bolts need to rely on each other and build upon team chemistry again. And if the Triplets could return to prime mid-season form, that could be helpful too.”
Recap by JustinG.: “It’s hard to imagine the Lightning putting up a worse effort than they did the last time they played Columbus, but somehow they managed to. The Blue Jackets showed why they are the hottest team in the NHL as they dominated the Lightning from start to finish. Luckily for Tampa they don’t have to play them again until January.”
January 13, 2017 Tampa 1, Columbus 3
Preview by iActium: “The Columbus Blue Jackets are the best team in the NHL. Let me repeat that; the Columbus Blue Jackets are the best team in the NHL. This still sounds weird to me. No disrespect to Columbus, it’s just that the way they have utterly dominated the league for the past month and a half has been remarkable. Full credit to Torts for changing his style to suit his team (now if only you could have done that during the World Cup of Hockey).”
Recap by Clark J. Brooks: “A night that started out with high energy, thanks at least in part to an emotional pre-game ceremony retiring the number 26 worn by former Lightning captain Marty St. Louis, plus an early 1-0 lead, ended with the Bolts looking tired and on the wrong end of a 3-1 score.”
Goals: Ondrej Palat (1), Nikita Kucherov (1), Jason Garrison (1), Valtteri Filppula (1), Jonathan Drouin (1)
Assists: Ondrej Palat (2), Valtteri Filppula (2), Nikita Kucherov (1)
Andrei Vasilevskiy .897 (61 saves on 68 shots in 2 games)
Ben Bishop .868 (33 saves on 38 shots in 1 game)
Yet another team that the Lightning did not trade with this season. The last team these two teams matchup for a deal was in March of 2014 when the Lightning dealt Dana Tyrell and Matt Taormina to the Blue Jackets for Dalton Smith and Jonathan Marchessault.
View from the other bench:
Eric over at The Cannon was kind enough to reply with something more than a .GIF of Nelson laughing at us.
The Columbus Blue Jackets enjoyed success against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2016-17 season, going 3-0-0 against the Atlantic division foe. On 11/29/16, the Blue Jackets thrashed the Lightning 5-1 in the teams' only meeting in Nationwide Arena last season. This game kicked off a franchise record 16 game winning streak that would see the Blue Jackets claim the top spot in the NHL standings as the calendar turned over to 2017.
Shortly after the streak ended, the teams met in Tampa with the Blue Jackets spoiling Martin St. Louis' number retirement ceremony. Josh Anderson was the top performer for the Blue Jackets against the Lightning, registering 3-2-5 in three matchups. Alexander Wennberg also performed well, notching 2-2-4.
Did Columbus help or hurt the Lightning this season?
C’mon. The Blue Jackets didn’t just hurt the Lightning this season, they put them in intensive care. Scott Stevens hurt Eric Lindros less than the Jackets hurt the Bolts. Not only did they take all six points in the season series, they also ruined Marty St. Louis night. That’s just rude. There was nothing redeeming about any of the three games (how could their be when the Lightning were outscored 13-5), in fact the losses represent some of the lowest points of the season.
The first loss touched off a four game losing streak that saw the Lightning give up 19 goals during the losing stretch. The second loss was just as bad as Columbus steamrolled them right from the drop of the puck. It had been a long time since I saw a Tampa squad absolutely helpless against a forecheck like they were in the beginning of that contest. The final loss, while closer on the scoreboard at least, came during a stretch where the Lightning lost 11 of 14 games.
What hurt the most is the way the Lightning lost. Columbus outshot them, outplayed them, out-forechecked them, basically they out-everythinged them. Coach Tortorella's team played the way the Lightning were supposed to play - fast and skillful.
So no, the Blue Jackets most definitely did not help the Lightning during the 2016-17 season.