Remember when the Tampa Bay Lightning had a 3-0 lead after the first period of their first-round series with the Columbus Blue Jackets?
Seems like a lifetime ago now.
The Lightning fell 7-3 to the Blue Jackets in Game 4 on Tuesday, completing a shocking sweep for the Blue Jackets over the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners. It was a thorough beatdown the likes of which no one could have predicted, but once it became apparent that it was happening, the hockey world took swiftly to social media to register their take on one of the biggest collapses in Stanley Cup playoff history.
It all started with the Lightning themselves, who posted a bizarre Tweet in the immediate aftermath of Game 4.
We don’t have any words and we know you don’t want to hear them.
We understand your anger, your frustration, your sadness. Everything you’re feeling – we get it.
This isn’t the ending we imagined, and certainly not the one we wanted. Thank you for being there the entire way.
– Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 17, 2019
Of course, the Blue Jackets were the team that no one saw winning the series, so of course, they jumped at the opportunity for some lighthearted gloating.
The rest of the sports world came with a range of reactions to the Lightning’s crash, from the straightforward to the absurd.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are the first team in NHL history to win the Presidents’ Trophy and then be swept out of the first round. pic.twitter.com/paCttMCyFQ
– Sporting News (@sportingnews) April 17, 2019
Single-Season Win Record Holders:
2007 Patriots: Lost Super Bowl
2015-16 Warriors: Lost NBA Finals
1906 Cubs: Lost World Series
2001 Mariners: Lost ALCS
1995-96 Red Wings: Lost Conf. Finals
2018-19 Lightning: Lost Opening Round pic.twitter.com/muuF85coie
– CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) April 17, 2019
Not a huge hockey historian, but this Tampa Bay Lightning collapse has to be the biggest upset in modern NHL history, right?
– Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 17, 2019
The Stanley Cup favorite Tampa Bay Lightning have been swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets. @DKSportsbook offered 40 to 1 odds at the beginning of the series of this happening. Not a single bettor thought it was worth even a penny.
– Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 17, 2019
By the way, I love the whole “top seed picks their opponents” idea, but this is why it will never happen. Imagine if Lightning “pick” the Blue Jackets and then get swept. No GM would ever want to risk wearing that.
– Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) April 17, 2019
The Lightning tying the NHL record for wins and getting
***IN THE FIRST ROUND***
*******BY THE 8 SEED*******
is an all-time sports disaster.
– Rodger Sherman (@rodger) April 17, 2019
Most shocking result in playoff history? Columbus wins its first-ever series, sweeping the 62-win Lightning.
– Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 17, 2019
Needless to say, this collapse will continue to have shockwaves for quite a while.