The Tampa Bay Lightning Suffered An Epic Collapse And Blew A 3-0 Lead At Home While Everyone Had Reactions
The Tampa Bay Lightning come into the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs with higher expectations than any team in the NHL. My Bolts had a historic season, tying the NHL record for most team wins in a season at 62 and Nikita Kucherov set the new record for most points scored by a Russian-born player. Kuch and Tampa finished the season with 128-points. They finished the season with an unbelieve +103 goal differential.
After the season they had, anything less than the Cup will be considered a failure for the Lightning and they hoped to get off to a hot start last night against the Wild Card-winning Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their 7-game Stanley Cup Playoffs series. Things looked FUCKING PERFECT after the first period. I was sitting on the couch in my adidas Kucherov jersey, enjoying the 3-0 lead after the Bolts came out skating unbelievably fast and scoring goals with ease. Then the wheels came off.
Columbus came back for the 2nd period and scored a goal while holding Tampa scoreless. Then in the 3rd period, they put up 3 goals and won the game 4-3. Tampa hadn’t blown a 3-0 lead all season. In fact, they were almost .500 on the season when losing by 2 goals going into the third period. They’re a team that’s won a TON of games coming from behind but they hadn’t blown a lead like that in over a year.
As you can imagine, the hockey world was completely shocked by Tampa’s collapse. The reactions and memes practically wrote themselves. As a Tampa Bay fan, I was stunned. My only silver lining is I have tickets to Game 5 in Tampa so I’ll at least be able to attend that game next Friday and *hopefully* see my Bolts close out the series in 5 but I’m not going to take anything for granted after watching them blow a 3-0 lead last night.
Here are the best reactions from last night’s epic collapse by the Lightning, beginning with the lead up to the collapse:
Aaaaand here’s where things began to turn:
The building was silent at this point:
I don’t recall if I was throwing things but I know I was drinking bourbon at this point in the night to self soothe:
Right in the feels:
I 100% still think Tampa’s going to win this 7-game series and I don’t think it’ll go 7 games but holy hell I did not see last night’s upset coming, I don’t think anyone did outside of the Columbus locker room. Even diehard Blue Jackets fans (if such a thing exists) couldn’t fathom coming back from a 3-0 first-period deficit on the road in Tampa in Game 1 of the Playoffs. Just unbelievable.
Playoffs hockey is the single best stretch of sports. Anything can happen. Teams are playing at a speed unlike anything we’ve seen this season. Simply the best.