Welcome to my workday stream-of-consciousness noon game recap - this is a scary place to be. Between ignoring my day job responsibilities, tweeting from @cbjcannon, and drinking cold brew I made from whole bean espresso, y’all are in for a wild ride.
Pretty standard start, until 5:38 in when Tyler Johnson lands his first goal in the series. I mean, someone had to score first. But then, Blake Coleman has to add insult to injury with the Lightning’s second goal just one minute later.
Fortunately, Alexander Wennberg, an unlikely hero of this year’s playoffs, dings a shot off Vasilevsky and Nick Foligno buries the rebound. The Jackets aren’t ready to give up yet, and this is where the noticeable shift in momentum starts to creep in.
A concept: if we pepper the net with shots, some of them are bound to go in. This mentality starts to take shape in the first period - can they maintain for the rest of the game?
Things are getting chippy, with a few penalties committed by Tampa Bay that give the Blue Jackets some scoring options. But who are we to score on a power play, right?
Well, apparently Kevin Stenlund is going to be that power play goal guy - he stepped up and scored his first postseason goal, and we love that for him. He knots it 2-2 and almost made me forget how compelled I was to pour myself a neat gin in the first ten minutes of this game at 12:15 p.m. on a Wednesday.
Wow, the Jackets are finally hitting their stride. In classic Jackets fashion, it took them allowing two goals first, but they’re finally driving to the net and flustering the Lightning.
Alexander Wennberg with a beauty go-ahead goal in the second period. Five goals in the regular season and three goals in these playoffs. Weird and inexplicable numbers but we’re going to take it!
Twenty-four shots on goal in the second period - that’s a good number. Let’s keep this train rolling!
Well this is where things really get messy. Oliver BJORKSTRAND pulls the team ahead to a two-goal lead - but we should know we can’t have nice things; not for long, anyways.
With about five minutes left in the game, Shattenkirk blasted the puck right past Korpisalo on a shot from the right point, halving the lead again. With only 1:38 left, the puck bounced off Cirelli’s skate and past Korpi, bringing the game to 4-4 at the end of regulation.
Not much to say here - Brayden Point scored a few minutes in, ending the Blue Jackets playoff run. The series ended 4-1.
Well, what a giant bummer. I think I can speak for Seeds here when I say I would rather have witnessed the Jackets suffer a resounding loss, instead of getting my hopes all the way up after a fabulous second period.
The stats of this game were frustrating, with the Jackets furiously out-shooting the Lightning after climbing out of their first-period hole.
Final stat cap of the season. #CBJ | @PNCBank pic.twitter.com/ABl7fMYKY2— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) August 19, 2020
Obviously, the playing style in the last few games was not even remotely sustainable, and Korpi didn’t do himself justice in this final game. All I can hope for is some serious introspection on behalf of the franchise - this series was so tantalizing because we saw, in fleeting moments, the way this team is capable of playing.
As long as the Jackets are able to zero in on these moments of golden hockey they’re able to inconsistently produce at this point, they will have plenty of time between now and the start of next season (???) to rebuild and come back stronger than ever.
Until then - Go Jackets.