Well, here's the good news: The Jackets don't play these guys again until April.
....yup, that's about it.
Normally we try to break these down a bit more, but this game was a horror show. The attempts to shuffle the lines and defense pairings to insert Nick Schultz and Matt Frattin didn't sound so bad on paper, but it seems like the entire team lost their chemistry in the aftermath.
Things started reasonably well - even though the Hawks opened the scoring thanks Brandon Bollig tipping in a long shot from Marcus Kruger, but the Jackets responded a few minutes later when Dalton Prout poked the puck out to Cam Atkinson, who dashed up the ice with Ryan Johansen. Passing off as they entered the offensive zone, Joey walked to the net and simply hammered his shot home to tie things back up.
Andrew Shaw was able to get in alone thanks to a well executed stretch pass late in the period, putting the Jackets down a goal after 20 minutes, but it wasn't bad - particularly facing the reigning cup champions. The only real "bad news" was the loss of Nikitin after being crosschecked in the face by Jonathan Toews.
Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends.
With the team announcing that Niki 6 wasn't going to return due to an upper body injury, an already hurting D-corps was stretched to the breaking point, and the Hawks took advantage.
Toews would extend the lead to 3-1 when he conducted a puck handling drill around all five Jackets on the ice, then deked Bob right out of his shoes before scoring into a wide open net.
A few minutes later, the Hawks came up on an odd man rush. Kris Versteeg drove deep and got the defense to buy that he intended to shoot, then passed it off to Brian Bickell, who finished the job - and Sergei Bobrovsky's evening.
That was basically the lid going onto the coffin, but the Hawks would hammer two more nails through Curtis McElhinney to finish the job.
There really isn't much else to say - about the only positive things I can take out of this game are the fact that every other Metro team lost, we're still right there in the Wild Card race, and Nikitin did travel with the team to Nashville for further evaluation rather than staying in hospital overnight or being sent back to Columbus.
Everything else was crap, and the team just needs to flush it. Put it behind them, get ready to face the Predators on Saturday, and hope for some good news on the injury front, because our D is starting to look like an episode of M*A*S*H.