Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Sports | By Juana Wells

3 takeaways from Blue Jackets sweep of Lightning

3 takeaways from Blue Jackets sweep of Lightning

They're well aware getting the fourth will be the hardest one of all. Don't miss a second of the pre-game excitement! NY posted the franchise's best regular-season record in 35 years by limiting chances and relying heavily on Trotz's system that preaches pragmatism and patience.

The contest was a one-goal game for most of the third period, so the four-goal spread is deceptive.

The 2010 Washington Capitals lost in the first round after winning the Presidents' Trophy, but they at least pushed their series with the Montreal Canadiens to Game 7.

He had a.933 save percentage, 1.96 goals against average (which yes is a looked over stat nowadays but considering the Montreal Canadiens weren't necessarily a defensive juggernaut back then, you can take this as being pretty impressive), and carried the team to a 103-point season. The third period started with an anxious air on both benches, but Columbus unleashed three more goals to seal the 7-3 win.

It would be a complete disservice to the Blue Jackets if we didn't mention their scoring exploits, rolling four lines that kept the Lightning completely off balance. "I think this is a really good foundation, (and) you can do some really insane things if you stay together as a unit". It's not an excuse. Unfortunately for them, Lightning defencemen Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman remain out with injuries and forward Alex Killorn is a game-time decision.

Moreover, as this ESPN graphic proves, teams that have had historic regular seasons often falter in the postseason.

Indeed, the Lightning made history in the 2019 playoffs - just not the kind any coach would want. Tampa Bay tied the National Hockey League record for wins with 62 and amassed 128 points, fourth in National Hockey League history. It is the only first-round series in which the home team has failed to win a game.

"But we have to believe that with the group we have - whoever is in the lineup or not - that we can win a game and get back to Tampa".

Get Blue Jackets, Lightning gear at Fanatics, Lids, Dick's Sporting Goods and NHL.com.

"We're a team that's never gotten ahead of ourselves", Columbus forward Nick Foligno said. From that point on, they were outscored, 19-5. "We've just got to execute better, and that goes for everybody".

Prior to the series, it was reasoned that if the Blue Jackets were to have any chance against the juggernaut Lightning, Sergei Bobrovsky would need to outduel his countryman, Andrei Vasilevskiy. Bobrovsky made 106 saves and won all four games.

Perhaps the biggest disparity was on special teams. They were playing a team, however, that was short-handed the fewest times in the regular season.

While trade-deadline acquisition Matt Duchene will likely generate most of the headlines, six Blue Jackets (Duchene, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Seth Jones, Alexandre Texier, Artemi Panarin, Cam Atkinson) notched two goals or more while 20-year Pierre-Luc Dubois showed flashes of future stardom.

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May said prior to Game 3 that the play was unsafe and should be one that's kept out of the league, and therefore, the punishment should have been more severe.

The Lightning had incredible top-end talent: Nikita Kucherov won the Art Ross Trophy with a whopping 128 points.

He played the final two regular-season games, scoring one goal, and Tuesday scored his first two playoff goals.

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be without their best defenseman when they try to stave off elimination.

Asked if this Lightning core can still capture a Stanley Cup at full strength, Stamkos said, "Yeah, we believe in it".

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