On the heels of the latest 3rd period collapse by the Jackets (with a bonus helping of a series of late 1st period goals to boot), I decided to look at how often the Jackets gave up a lead in the third period and / or gave up the tying or game winning goal in the last minutes of a period.
The results were not pretty.
Nashville - 10/7: GWG came in the first minute of the third period. (Regulation loss)
Vancouver - 10/10: Tying goal in the 2nd minute of the third period. (Regulation loss)
Colorado - 10/12: Tying goal in the last minute of the third period. (Shootout loss)
Dallas - 10/15: GWG in 2nd minute of third period. (Regulation loss)
Ottawa - 10/22: Tying Goal / GWG in last minute of the third period (Regulation loss)
Buffalo - 10/27: GWG in the last 5 minutes of third period (Regulation loss)
Toronto - 11/3: GWG last minute of first period. (Regulation loss)
Minnesota - 11/15: GWG 7 minutes into third period (Regulation loss)
St. Louis - 11/27: Tying goal last minute of second period (Regulation loss)
Edmonton - 12/2: Third period implosion. (Seriously, 5 goals in 15 minutes is an implosion, no other word for it.)
Nashville - 12/8: Tying goal last minute of third period (OT Loss)
Boston - 12/10: Tying goal last minute of first period, GWG 7 minutes into third period. (Regulation Loss)
That's 20 points you're looking at right there. Twenty. That's enough to put this team into the Central Division lead. Even if, say, the OT and shootout losses were converted to wins, and half of losses had been wins instead, we'd be talking about 31 points and on the doorstep of a playoff spot - possibly even 32/33 points if a few OT or SO losses were sprinkled into the remainder.
This isn't exclusively a Steve Mason or Curtis Sanford problem - both netminders have given up nasty ones. But it certainly is a team problem, and it's an area that the Jackets' front office should be seriously reviewing with Coach Arniel and his staff, because it's the difference between survival and a lottery pick for this team.