For the second night in a row, the Blue Jackets got off to a slow start in Florida, including surrendering the first goal, then climb back into the game.
Unlike Friday night’s game against the Lightning, the Panthers would find ways to take advantage of defensive miscues and goaltending mistakes to erase that lead, and carry themselves to victory against the Metro division leaders.
We have to call it like we see it tonight: Joonas Korpisalo made some great saves tonight, but he also gave up some terrible goals. (I’m still trying to figure out how Trochek’s tying 2-2 goal went in.) His rebound control wasn’t there, and weak play by the defense (in particular Markus Nutivaara, who found himself nailed to the bench for the majority of the game after his turnover in the defensive zone lead to the 3-2 go ahead goal) was a big issue tonight.
To their credit, the Jackets dragged themselves back into this game thanks to strong efforts by Boone Jenner, Cam Atkinson, Seth Jones, and Nick Foligno, but the typing goal wasn’t there as the third period came to an end, and they will fly home to Columbus having gone 1-2-0 on the brief road trip.
I don’t want to cry doom and gloom because the fact remains that the Jackets are still sitting in first place. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
But this was not a strong overall effort. The Jackets have shown us how much better they can be than this. We need to hold them to it.