Recap: Jackets start their NYE hangover early
Here's what happened
How would the Columbus Blue Jackets finish 2017? They faced a stiff challenge in the league leading Tampa Bay Lightning.
First Period: Jackets dominated possession thanks to 2 power plays, though neither resulted in a goal. Tampa's opportunities came mostly on breakaways, but the skaters helped Joonas Korpisalo with key blocks, most notably Markus Nutivaara with a stretching dive that blocked a 2-on-1 chance.
0-0 score. CBJ 12-5 SOG. CBJ 56.52% 5v5 CF%
Second Period: Lightning strike first. Mikhail Sergachev kept the puck in the zone, and caught the Jackets out of position. Brayden Point found Tyler Johnson wide open at the far point to snap it over Korpi's right shoulder.
Immediately after, Jordan Schroeder went off for tripping. The best chance on that PP was a breakaway by Josh Anderson which Andrei Vasilevskiy saved at point blank range.
Seconds after the PP ended, Tyler Johnson struck again. This time Sergachev shot and Point collected the rebound and found Johnson for a tight angle shot that just snuck through the gap between the post and Korpi's right arm.
Like me, you may have been thinking "Gee, that lethal Stamkos line has been quiet so far." Not even halfway through the period, Steven Stamkos carried the puck into the zone. Seth Jones actually recovered it, but his outlet pass from behind the red line was intercepted by Vladislav Namestnikov and passed to Nikita Kucherov who scored through traffic from long range.
Cory Conacher scored less than a minute later to make it 4-0. All four goals were scored in less than 8 minutes. I started thinking about which drink to start getting drunk with.
What a godawful period. CF% of 22.22. That's not a typo.
At this point your intrepid recapper left for a New Year's Eve Party. No expecting to miss much.
Third Period: Stamkos adds another halfway through the third, because we don't deserve anything nice, ever.
I suppose this result isn't surprising, considering the Lightning are the class of the league, the Jackets were missing 4 regulars (plus Bob), and in general the team hasn't been sharp.
Time to put December 2017 in the rear view mirror.
Happy New Year to all of our readers and commenters. We are looking forward to bringing more coverage in 2018 (hopefully with another playoff run).