Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson scored two goals on Saturday night in the Lightning’s 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
There was once a time when Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson seemed to rule the world. Along with his then-linemates Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat, Johnson and company accounted for just under a third of the team’s overall points in the 2014-15 season.
Tyler Johnson brought home 29 goals and 43 assists for a total of 72 points. Johnson was followed by Kucherov, who earned 29 goals and 36 assists for a total of 65 points. Finally, Palat scored 16 goals and 47 assists for a total of 63 points. The Triplets came up with a total of 200 overall points.
Unfortunately, something happened in the postseason which would adversely affect Johnson moving forward. Once the Lightning had been defeated by the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final, it was announced Tyler Johnson had been playing with a broken wrist since early in the Finals.
Ever since this point, Johnson’s production slowed greatly from what Lightning fans had come to expect from the bright, young talent. Granted, he was still putting on great performances, but they simply weren’t of the caliber they once were. Now, let’s flash forward to the 2017-18 season.
Johnson got off to a decent start in October, bringing home four goals and three assists, but it was there his goal scoring came to a screeching halt. The Lightning played a total of 12 games in the month of November. Johnson did make his way to the scoresheet with a total of four assists but didn’t manage a single goal.
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As any self-respecting Lightning fan knows, this is not common for a player like Tyler Johnson. Johnson’s absence from the back of the net led some to question whether or not he was still a good fit for one of the Lightning’s top lines.
Well, those questions seemed to get an answer rather quickly as the season transitioned into December.
On Saturday night, the Lightning took on the San Jose Sharks at the Amalie Arena. This was the team’s first game back to the Amalie Arena after embarking on a four-game road trip. The team had a lot on the line; especially after the lack of success the team had on their road trip.
Surprisingly enough, the Triplets were back in action once again. It was Nikita Kucherov who got things started off with a goal in the opening minute of the second period. When the Bolts took the ice for the third, it was Tyler Johnson who kicked things into gear.
It all started off with a goal from Johnson just 1:39 into the period. Much like Pringles potato chips, you can’t have just one goal; especially when the fire inside has been reignited. A mere four minutes and 10 seconds later, Johnson would sink his second goal of the night to give the Lightning a 3-1 lead over the Sharks.
When the final buzzer sounded, Johnson and Kucherov came up with two goals each and Palat brought home two assists, giving the Triplets a total of six points on the night. Despite not being on the same line, the Triplets were still firing on all cylinders.
Saturday night’s victory against the Sharks ended a 12-game goal scoring skid for Tyler Johnson. Given the way he performed in Saturday night’s encounter, it definitely seems as if he is getting his swagger back.
The true test will come a little later this evening. After having two days off, the Lightning will charge back into the Amalie Arena to take on the New York Islanders in their second meeting of the season. Needless to say, the first meeting between these two teams didn’t exactly turn out the way the Lightning would’ve hoped.
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While it is unknown at this point whether or not Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper will elect to go with the same lineup as Saturday night, one can only hope the Tyler Johnson who took the ice against the Sharks is here to stay and he continues to take the puck to the net on a consistent basis.