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Recap: Thank God for the All Star Break

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Columbus scored first, fell apart, and lost. So it goes.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Well. A hockey game was played, that’s for sure.

Columbus entered the game needing a win after going 5-6 since the winning streak. They entered with a mix of emotions, seeing Cam Atkinson named to the All Star Game, but also seeing head coach John Tortorella leave to be with his family during an emergency. How would the team respond?

Nashville opened the game with a hard press, challenging every single Jacket and harassing the team through the neutral zone. Columbus, after killing a Scott Hartnell penalty, would take control. Brandon Saad opened the scoring at 9:25 with a wrist shot. The assists went to Seth Jones and Nick Foligno.

The CBJ hung on through the opening stages of the second period as Nashville would take a man advantage after Matt Calvert went off for tripping. Immediately after the power play ended, Calle Jarnkrok would tie the game. The Blue Jackets challenged the goal for offsides, but it stood. I think it was offsides, but as the official was blocking the blue line camera, there was no definitive angle, and so it had to stand (which, given the angles available, was the right call). It would be that kind of night.

Nashville took control from there. Harry Zolnierczyk would cash in next, finding a rebound loose near Sergei Bobrovsky. He threw it at Bob, who saw it trickle just through his pads and into the net. The Blue Jackets, per Aaron Portzline, have been outscored 16-8 in the second period since the 16 game streak ended.

At this point, I need to mention the officiating. As the second period wound down, Alexander Wennberg had his stick grabbed and ripped clean out of his and, and seconds later, Zolnierczyk deposited Bobrovsky in his own net after running into him at full speed.I'm not one to complain about the officials ever - you need to play through it, and not blame losses on it. But this was complete garbage tonight. There’s also a, uh, how do I put this ... incriminating video out there of an official cussing out a Blue Jacket. That’s not okay.

Early in the third, Bobrovsky absolutely robbed Filip Forsberg with his left pad. That went for naught, however, as Nashville would soon double their lead. Mattias Ekholm threw a puck on net and Craig Smith buried the rebound at 6:03.

Zach Werenski would draw the Blue Jackets back into it at 9:12 from the left faceoff circle. The assists went to Brandon Dubinsky and Seth Jones. That was short lived, however, as Smith beat Bobrovsky with a shot from the right dot at 11:18. It was a soft, soft goal by Bob. He has to save that.

The Blue Jackets pushed hard and cut it to 4-3 at 17:09 on Ryan Murray’s first goal in 78 games. The assist on Murray’s goal went to Zach Werenski and William Karlsson.

Despite pushing through the end of the game, the Jackets could not find the equalizer, and fell in Bridgestone Arena.

FINAL

Columbus Blue Jackets 3 @ Nashville Predators 4

THOUGHTS

Thank god this time gets some time off. Several commentators and players seemed to hint that the team was mentally exhausted and needed the time to refocus and regroup. That’s not unusual for a young team.

There’s a lot of doom and gloom around this team. They’re still 2nd in the conference. They’re doing just fine. Over the last 20 games, the CBJ are still top ten in score adjusted CF%. Wouldn’t each and every one of us have taken that in October?

The officiating was bad tonight. It bears repeating.

Every team has bad stretches during a season. Every single one. Remember when this team was 0-2 and the world was ending in October? They’re 5-7 in their last 12. They’re 21 AND 7 IN THEIR LAST 28.

The CBJ head into the All Star Break at 32-12-4, with 68 points. On to the next one.

UP NEXT

All Star weekend! Stay tuned for coverage of how to see the guys!