“We got a little overconfident,” Alex Killorn.*
“I actually thought our biggest foe last night was us,” Jon Cooper.*
I’m not a huge fan of taking a quote out of context but these are hard quotes to read and ignore as a Jackets fan. Introspection is good, even necessary, but give credit where credit is due.
It is clear the Blue Jackets have yet to gain the respect of their opponent and the rest of the NHL. And with good reason, IT WAS ONLY ONE GAME. A win tonight would send a message, but a split in the series on the way back to Columbus is good too. Stealing home ice advantage would usually be significant, except that C-Bus have a better away record (25-14-2) than home record (22-17-2). Taking a 2-0 lead is no guarantee of series victory either, as witnessed by the WAS series last playoff season.
Prior to Game 1 I stated, “taking a couple of games from TBL would be a success” and I hold to that. This is a record setting team with tons of talent that not only has playoff experience but has played for the Stanley Cup (2015). It very well could be ‘their year.’
Here’s the thing, these Columbus Blue Jackets are not going to be excited by a 1-0 series lead. They may not even be content with a 2-0 series lead. They have been-there-done-that. They are all hungry for a series W. This may not be that series, but the longer it goes the more experience they get and the greater chance they have at clearing that hurdle.
Columbus knows they can do it now. Even with a 3-goal deficit. I’m not sure what happened to Stamkos, Kucherov and Point, but they didn’t show up on the scoresheet. Hedman looked a little out of sorts especially on the Savard goal.
Out of all the stars that were going to burn bright in this series only Seth Jones had a goal (assisted by Panarin and Werenski). Bob was the talk of Game 1 (for a good reason this time). My guess is that we will see Kucherov, Atkinson, Stamkos and Panarin take center stage in the second tilt.
Expect Game 2 to be a tight game, but the scoreboard may not reflect it. Did the CBJ wake a sleeping giant or expose a weakness in the TBL game?
1. Don’t give up an early goal. The Jackets were playing with fire by letting TBL score first…and second…and third. The Bolts will not make the same mistakes holding a lead in Game 2. They will press early in an attempt to get a lead. CBJ will need to ride out that initial pressure and counter attack when they have the opportunity.
2. Find what works with the lineup. Putting Cam with Duchene and Dzingel seemed to give the CBJ the jump they needed. Texier held his own as well. Overall Torts recognized what didn’t work at the beginning of Game 1 and adjusted. He will need to do more of that tonight.
3. No penalties in the offensive zone. Staying out of the box at all would be desirable against the NHL’s #1 PP team. If you are 200 feet from your own goal, there is no excuse…I’m looking at you Dubinsky.
There are no announced roster changes, same group out on the ice tonight as it stands now.
Does the Game 1 victory give the Jackets enough confidence to challenge and maybe win this series?
Will Bob match his performance from the last 40 minutes of Game 1?
We will see in a few short hours…GO JACKETS!
*quote reference: https://www.nhl.com/news/lightning-need-better-mindset-for-game-2/c-306675396?tid=306186908