"We don’t score. Again, it comes down to getting a reward for your hard work, and we just don’t do that." Coach Tortorella summed up the Blue Jackets problems in two sentences following the latest loss, a 5-1 demolition at the hands of the league leading Dallas Stars.
The Blue Jackets, to their credit, took the play to the Stars in the first period. The CBJ outshot the hosts 16-8. Brandon Saad had an excellent chance on a 2-on-1 rush glance off of the post and bounce harmlessly away. Yet, on the second night of a back to back, the same issues continued to plague the team.
Despite carrying the play for the majority of the period, Columbus surrendered the opening goal to Johnny Oduya with 2:07 to go in the first period. Oduya picked up the puck at the wall, threw it at the net, and it beat Joonas Korpisalo. Just like that, the Jackets found themselves trailing.
Dallas opened the period smelling blood in the water. They pressured hard, forcing a long defensive shift from Jack Johnson and Ryan Murray. This would, as it turned out, not be the time the long change burned the Blue Jackets in the period.
After a high stick from Patrik Nemeth to Brandon Dubinsky, the Blue Jackets went on their first power play. After 26 seconds and one shot, the game was tied, courtesy of Scott Hartnell’s team leading 13th goal of the season. Wennberg picked up the primary assist on what he mentioned is a set play, finding Hartnell with a slick feed in front of the net.
After several extended shifts in the defensive zone, Dallas would once again reclaim the lead. After Ales Hemsky threw a shot off the boards, the puck bounced to Alex Goligoski, who wasted no time burying it over a sprawling Korpisalo. 2-1 to Chicago with almost 7 minutes to go in the second period. While the Stars had the lead, you had to be encouraged with the Blue Jackets’ effort.
"We have found ways to give games away." –Nick Foligno, postgame
Did they ever. Making a long line change, the Blue Jackets were caught out of position, leaving Tyler Seguin unaccounted for. John Klingberg sprung him with a home run pass, and Seguin potted it. 30 seconds later, Seguin effectively iced the game. 4-1, and the rout was on. The second period ended with the Jackets successfully killing a Dallas power play following a Scott Hartnell cross check.
At the start of the third period, Curtis McElhinney replaced Korpisalo. He gave up a goal at the 2:45 mark to Mattias Janmark, who walked in on net following a bad defensive zone turnover by David Savard.
The Blue Jackets finally showed a pulse with 14.9 seconds left in the game, getting into a scrum behind the net, but it was far too late.
FINAL: The Blue Jackets fell 5-1 to the Dallas Stars on the road, and fell to 11-12-3 under Torts (11-19-3 on the season).
"We don’t score. Again, it comes down to getting a reward for your hard work, and we don’t do that." –Coach Tortorella in his postgame interview
Ryan Johansen didn’t play in the third period. Coach’s decision, per the head man. The team failed, yet again, to put more than one puck in the net, despite some solid offensive chances, and actually outshooting the Stars for the game. The players held a closed door, players-only meeting following the game in an effort to get the effort sorted out and fix the issues plaguing the team.
TORTS ANGRY METER
Coach Tortorella was composed in his postgame press conference. There was no yelling; instead, he merely repeated discussions of seizing momentum and finishing chances.
Tonight’s performance warrants a frustrated, quiet Tortorella, who is clearly working to teach the team the basics and instill in them the need to play consistently, and take each game on a shift by shift basis.
This team is a long way away. The Blue Jackets go to Arizona to take on the Coyotes on Thursday night.