Eric will have a full recap for you later tonight or early tomorrow, but let's discuss some of the points of tonight's [GAME] at Nationwide. It might be officially time to panic, if you weren't already.
Senators 7, Blue Jackets 3
- I was glad to see that they left Brandon Saad, Ryan Johansen, and Nick Foligno together with Scott Hartnell and Ryan Murray on the top PP unit. They just look... good. Saad scored on the PP in almost the exact same manner he did in Buffalo. He's playing up high, and he crashes the net on the backside as the play works to the other side of the ice. The rebound kicked right to him for an open net. He executed that *exact* same play three times in the first period alone. He's going to be a MONSTER on this Power Play all season, and that unit is very, very good. They had a late second period PP where the Sens just couldn't get the puck away from them.
- He didn't bury, but we saw how dangerous and versatile Saad can be in the first period, when he criss-crossed off an icing face off in the Jackets zone and sprung himself for a breakaway. His speed and strength are a force to be reckoned with. He also used it again while on the PK to draw a penalty to even things out, and sparing them 50 second of PK. And then, he buries it on the ensuing Power Play. Saad is just a tremendous player.
- The Jackets had at least one answer tonight, and it was the Dubinsky / Atkinverts combo. One play started with a big shot block by Matt Calvert. It ended with a two on one with Cam Atkinson feeding Brandon Dubinsky, who deked backhand and beat Anderson. That line... they work well together. They had another shift later in the second period where they pinned the Sens in and had a nice scoring chance.
- That's about it.
- Man, bad bounces, failed zone clearings... that burned them AGAIN. In the first, Marc Methot was wide open after a scramble, and a redirected point shot beat Bobrovsky. Bob didn't have much chance as it glanced off of Saad's shinguard, but it was the failure to clear the puck and the failure to keep the puck that cost the Jackets again. Another bad turnover--this time by Dalton Prout--and another goal against in the second. The third Sens goal was off a brutal play from Prout at his own goal line.
- Likewise, when they get hemmed in, their coverage goes to complete shit. On the Sens' fourth goal, There were four guys on one side of the ice, and when the rebound came out to Mika Zibanejad, he had literally no one left to beat to score.
- Tonight, it wasn't the ends of periods, it was the beginnings. Early goals in the second and third periods just KILLED them. The goal to start the third came after some pretty atrocious fire wagon hockey by the Jackets. It was also one that Bobrovsky should have had. Not much outside of the Power Play looks good right now.
- In the early second period, it was another silly penalty, another goal against. This one was a dumb too many men penalty early in the second, and it didn't take the Sens long to capitalize. This is not something a team struggling to get going can withstand.
- It took the Jackets almost 12 minutes to get a shot on goal in the third period. That's not how you come from behind. That said, three goals on 38 shots. That needs to be better. This club should have no problem scoring five goals on that many shots, if not more.
- Bob hasn't looked good. He hasn't gotten a ton of help, but when they've needed him to make a big save, he hasn't been able to. The Sens' fifth goal was one he HAD to have, if only to pick up his team.
- By the time the sixth goal was scored, the team looked completely whipped. The fans booed. It just felt like they knew they weren't going to even make it close, despite there being 10 minutes left in the game.
- This team hates the lead. They've had it exactly four times in three games, and each time they failed to keep it longer than a few minutes. This is, obviously, not a good trend.
I don't have any answers, people. Let's hope someone in this organization does.