The Columbus Blue Jackets crushed the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in Columbus by a 5-1 score. If anything, the score really undersells just how good the Jackets were tonight. Through two periods, the CBJ were outshooting the Lightning 27-13, and shot attempting them 45-26. After the Jackets pulled ahead to a massive lead, we got to see Tampa throw some irrelevant score effect shots on net, one of which trickled in. Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 26 saves, and Columbus was led offensively by Josh Anderson (1G, 2A), with additional goals from William Karlsson, Alex Wennberg, Scott Hartnell, and Sam Gagner.
The Good, the Bad, and the Great
Good: This Goal by Scott Hartnell
Bad: The Lightning Goal
I guess? Was a little on the weak side, one Bob definitely wants back. It erased the shutout, but really didn’t matter as game was utter destruction by the CBJ in every way. The “hockey people” and the “stats people” have been at war recently, but I think they all would agree that tonight was a huge game for the Jackets. It was a statement game against a very good team, that the CBJ dominated. It was also a game that saw the CBJ with a Corsi close of 66.7%. Massive win for the CBJ no matter how you look at it.
Great: The Hartnell-Karlsson-Anderson Line
No ugly tonight. This game was beautiful. Had to add ‘Great’ into this format, as ‘Good’ isn’t a strong enough word to describe how this line played tonight. They combined for three CBJ goals, but I had them penciled into a spot in this lineup before they even got the second. They controlled the play whenever they were on this ice, with Anderson and Hartnell constantly doing lovely work with their bodies to protect the puck. There were numerous shifts where they were so utterly dominant and in possession that the rest of the CBJ were able to make complete line changes and keep it in Tampa’s zone the entire time. As Matt pointed out earlier today
, this line (give or take a player) has been en feugo lately, and that continued against the Lightning. I don’t think they will keep up this level of play indefinitely, but they have been so good that their play could slip and they would still be one of the better third lines in the NHL
Quote of the Night: John Tortorella
“As the season started (the question for this team was) do you go in and test the water and hope you’re going to win? Or, do you go in there and you have some swagger and you know you’re going to give it to them. You’re certainly not going to win them all – there’s a lot of things that go into winning and losing in the National Hockey League, but I like where the attitude has gone to. Tonight was a good test to us…I don’t think we tested the water, I think we went right after them.”