COLUMBUS, Ohio – Tampa Bay Lightning is determined by their failure, from the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs in the first round of the Columbus Blue Jackets team is thinking of a prayer hanging on the winners of the Trophy Presidents.
That's a way to look at them.
Here is the Lightning round after a fantastic 7-3 defeat on Tuesday night in Game 4 of The first round: They are victims of their own success.
Lightning has 128 points in the regular season, with a percentage score of .780, the second highest rate for an 82-game season in NHL history, just behind the 1
All this comes so easy for Tampa Bay – until it's not.
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" When you have the many points we have, it's a blessing and a curse, in a way. You're not playing any significant hockey for a long time. a sudden, "said Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Game 4." That's how it goes: You have a regular regular season, and we have a historic playoff. "
In fact, Lightning made history in the 2019 playoffs – not just the kind that the coach wants. For the first time in league history, a team with the most points in the regular season failed to win a game in an opening round, a series of seven games.
"If we have answers, we will find a way to win a game It sucks," said captain Steven Stamkos.
There are some obvious reasons behind the shocking death of Lightning:
The Blue Jackets have set up a defensive clinic in the series, playing 1-2-2 looking for slowed speed, owning a neutral zone and Lightning never allows them to find their way painfully. The Jackets have 30 takeaways in four games, while Tampa Bay has 21. "Columbus is pretty good at shutting it down. They did not do it in the regular season because they always chase us," says Cooper. "The last time we played here, we had a 5-1 lead, and they completely violated us. We just scored every time we dropped the ice."
Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is the best postseason of his career, with a .932 save percentage and a 2.01 goals-against the average. Although Lightning broke through the defense of Columbus, Bobrovsky made key saves. On the other hand, Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has done with a .856 save percentage and a 3.82 goal-against the average.
Perhaps the biggest difference is in special teams. Lightning is the most effective play from 1988-89 in the regular season, at 28.1 percent. However, they show a team, with the ability to reach the minimum season in the regular season. Lightning scored once in six instances of power-play in this series; Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets are a 5-for-10 stellar with a male advantage. "One of PP's can not play in two games, hard, I do not know what to say," says Nikita Kucherov, the Lightning star winger who won the NHL scoring title this season. of the series for an illegal check on Game 2. The star defenseman Victor Hedman was injured in Games 1 and 2 and did not get the last two games of the series.
Asking if this core of Lightning can still be captured by the Stanley Cup in full force, Stamkos said, "Yes, we believe in it. But one thing to say, and another is to implement. has implemented a detailed game plan to slow us down, and we have no answer here. Give them some credit. Everyone is going to talk about us losing the series, but they make a lot of good we just have no answers. "
This core is together when Lightning lost to the 2016 conference finals, losing Games 6 and 7 at Pittsburgh Penguins. It's been unleashed Games 6 and 7 (again) in the Washington Capitals last season. Against the Blue Jackets, they put 3-0 in Game 1 and never recovered after Jackets rallied to win.
"I do not know," Cooper said when asked if there was a major defect in how the team handled the difficulties. "It's funny: We're looking forward to leaving this year, and we're gone. In 2015, we did not expect us to go anywhere, and we went far, with the same core of players."
in this league. It's hard not to hold the Stanley Cup at the end, but how many teams have arrived with it? They knock on the door and knock on the door and then … look at Washington, for example. They have two remarkable years and have returned to the second stage, and the person who is not expected to do anything, they won the Stanley Cup. "
From October 6, 2018, to April 6, 2019, Lightning is favorites to win the Stanley Cup and one of the most dominant regular season teams in league history.
The playoffs began.
"We could not find our game. It is clear. For six days in April, we did not find it, "Cooper says." It is unfortunate because it places a blemish on what is a regular season of helluva. "
Stamkos added:" If you can not do the goal of winning everything, it's a failure. We do not care what happened during the regular season. "