The New Jersey Devils put on a clinic for neutral zone defense in Columbus today, shutting out the Blue Jackets, who were only able to muster a mere 13 shots on goal the entire game, 6 of which came in the third period.
Kris Russell had one of his worst games in recent memory, with turnovers that lead directly to goals by David Clarkson and Nick Palmieri, while Steve Mason had an equally bad play on Clarkson's second goal of the game, failing to corral a rebound that the Devils' winger eventually popped home.
Martin Brodeur extended his career shutout total to 115, and that's really it.
The Jackets looked lifeless in the second half of back to back games, and the Devils never really had a challenge once they took the lead midway through the first period.
There were no standard bearers today, and there are too many players who qualified for the bottom of the barrel. The best thing to do is simply note that it happened, shake our heads, and move on.
Somehow, amazingly, the Jackets have not yet been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but games like this certainly could convince you otherwise.
The Jackets will travel to Colorado tomorrow, and take on the Avalanche Tuesday night to start a brief road trip. Hopefully they'll remember to unpack their competitive fire.