The Columbus Blue Jackets (24-14-3) will get their week started with a stiff test in Tampa Bay against the Lightning (32-8-2). Puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:30 PM ET.
If recent history is a good indicator, then the odds of Columbus getting an upset tonight are bleak.
The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets by a final score of 8-2 in their previous matchup in mid October after coming off a 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Tonight, it’s the Lightning who are coming off a 5-2 loss on the road against San Jose.
The Lightning have a league-high 17 home victories along with only four losses at Amalie Arena this season. Tampa Bay hasn’t lost on home ice since Saturday, November 27th and is 15-1-1 in their last 17 games (a 150-point pace). YIKES!
The Jackets are a team that’s seen as a threat, but not a formidable one due to never getting past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. While that stigma won’t go away, a win in Tampa Bay would be impossible to overlook.
Columbus must forget all the distractions and speculation (about Bob and Bread’s contracts). The Jackets will have a low margin for error this evening, but could get the second half of the season off to an amazing start with a win. Possibly, just possibly, a season-defining win.