Well, we now know–with virtual certainty–which direction the Columbus Blue Jackets are headed as Monday’s NHL trade deadline looms.
They weren’t very good tonight. Did they show flashes? Of course, but that’s been this team’s calling card in 2020-21: good at times, dreadful at others, and perpetually treading water. When you run into a pissed-off Tampa Bay Lightning team without your best stuff, this is the result.
Here are tonight’s three things from Nationwide Arena.
You couldn’t draw up a more volatile opening stretch for the Blue Jackets.
The Lightning haven’t won in a few. They’re not happy. Columbus beat them again the other night and it wasn’t all that close. Anything less than their best probably wouldn’t turn out well for the Blue Jackets–and, behold.
Blake Coleman scored 58 seconds in. Tampa Bay added two more in the early going and chased Joonas Korpisalo after only a few minutes of work, and into the game came Elvis Merzlikins.
Let’s interject briefly: the Blue Jackets weren’t awful in this stretch, but their performance wasn’t nearly good enough. They didn’t help their goaltender, and their goaltender didn’t help them. Steven Stamkos’ 2-0 goal is one that Korpisalo should stop, and Victor Hedman’s 4-1 goal is one that Merzlikins should stop.
As John Tortorella would say, everyone has some skin in this one.
WE DON’T KNOW, JACK
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