Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview

Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning Preview

David Marrinan-Hayes
2 years ago
2 min read

Columbus has now lost four straight games, and the last two were against the lowly Detroit Red Wings. The Blue Jackets missed out on a great opportunity to make a move in the standings, and are still stuck in sixth place.

Tampa Bay has actually lost two straight games, but they still lead the Central with 50 points. The Lightning are looking to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, one of the hardest things to do in sports.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are massive favorites at -245 for this game on Tuesday night.

Jackets Just Can’t Score

The Columbus Blue Jackets have shown glimpses of hope on the offensive end of the ice, but they just can’t find enough consistent offense. Columbus is scoring just 2.47 goals per game, and have managed just two total goals in the last two games.

Until someone is able to step up and provide some assistance to Oliver Bjorkstrand, the Blue Jackets can’t expect to turn this season around. Bjorkstrand leads the team with 12 goals and 17 assists and will need to take over on Tuesday night.

Goaltending is another problem area for the Blue Jackets, and they gave up seven total goals in the two losses to Detroit. If stopping the Red Wings was an issue, that doesn’t bode well for this matchup with the Lightning.

Lightning Losing Grip on First Place

Tampa Bay Lighting no longer have a commanding lead in the Central Division as the Panthers and Hurricanes are keeping the pressure on them. The Lightning have suffered back-to-back 4-3 defeats, and they need to be better at limiting scoring opportunities.

The Lightning are holding opponents to less than 2.3 goals per game, and they could shutout Columbus on Tuesday night. Tampa Bay is great on special teams, and they make teams pay for being undisciplined.

Victor Hedman leads Tampa Bay with 27 assists and 33 points, while Steven Stamkos has a team-high 16 goals. Tampa Bay can score with all four lines, and they will keep the pressure on the Blue Jackets.

Hard For Columbus to Keep Up

It appears as if the Columbus Blue Jackets are catching the Tampa Bay Lightning at the perfect time as the defending champs have shown some weaknesses of late. Columbus isn’t exactly playing well right now, but catching the Lightning in a slide helps.

Despite struggling a bit of late, Tampa Bay still has the deepest roster of any team in the National Hockey League. That depth and their ability to score goals will make it hard for the Columbus Blue Jackets to challenge them on Tuesday night.

Until the Blue Jackets prove that they can score goals with some consistency it’s hard to pick them to win any game, let alone against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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