On paper, it looked like an easy two points for the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Columbus Blue Jackets had other plans.
The Blue Jackets, trying to climb their way out of the Eastern Conference basement, jumped out to a three-goal lead and got solid goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky to defeat the Lightning, the top team in that same conference, by a final score of 3-1.
A surprising result given the discrepancy between these teams in the standings. Just don’t tell that to Lightning bench boss Jon Cooper.
“Standings don’t mean S with a T. … Just because a team is behind you in the standings does not make them not a quality opponent. I never believe in that. That’s ludicrous to me,’’ said Cooper, as per the Tampa Tribune.
“These are all National Hockey League players. All these teams are good. You think you are just going to walk in and say, ‘We are in first place so we are going to win this game,’ there is no way. And I don’t think we did that. I thought we played well, we played hard, we just couldn’t put the puck in the net. They got a couple of breaks and a couple of goals.
“You have to go out and play the game and they just beat us tonight.’’
The Blue Jackets have managed three consecutive victories – a winning streak – and that includes a pair of wins on their now concluded two-game trip through Florida.