Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview

Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview

Cole Paganelli
3 years ago
2 min read

Columbus comes into this game having lost seven straight games, but their last win did come again this Lightning team. The Blue Jackets have fallen all the way to last place in the Central Division, and it’s time to start thinking about the 2021 NHL Draft.

Tampa Bay has gone just 5-5 in their last ten games, and this has not been a good stretch for the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Lightning have slipped to third place in the Central Division but are still within striking distance from the top. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning are -270 over the Columbus Blue Jackets in this game on Thursday night. 

Lack of Depth a Problem

It takes plenty of depth to navigate through any NHL season, but especially one that is played during this COVID-19 era. Columbus is a team that does not have a ton of depth, especially in terms of scoring, and it has caused this losing streak.

The Blue Jackets just continue to come up short on the offensive end of the ice, scoring just 2.4 goals per game. Oliver Bjorkstrand leads the team in every offensive category, posting a team-high 15 goals and 20 assists.

Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo has done his best to keep the Blue Jackets in most games, but he just hasn’t had a ton of help. Trying to find a way to stop the Tampa Bay Lightning is never an easy task. 

Lightning Looking to Build Momentum

The Lightning have been scuffling of late, but it doesn’t take much for this team to turn things around. Tampa Bay is scoring 3.3 goals per game this season, and they score 25 percent of the time on the power play. 

Defenseman Victor Hedman has a team-high 34 assists and 42 points, and he gives this team scoring options from that position. Center Brayden Point leads the team with 20 goals, but there are a number of talented offensive players on this roster.

The Lightning will give up some goals, but that isn’t a big concern when facing this struggling Blue Jackets team. 

Another Tough Matchup For Columbus

Life in the Central Division is not easy for any team, but Columbus was handling it well for the first few weeks of the season. Eventually, other teams started to hit their stride while the Blue Jackets started to head in the other direction.

This game looks like a complete mismatch on paper, but the Blue Jackets can keep this one close by slowing down the pace. Tampa Bay has not been as explosive on the offensive end of the ice lately, but this team is always capable of putting up a big number. 

It is going to take an upset win for the Blue Jackets to snap this brutal losing streak, but it’s hard to imagine that upset coming against the mighty Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Share article on: