I’ve been staring at my computer for a half hour struggling to think of how to write about this game. How do you begin to describe such a lackluster effort? I was having a lovely evening, enjoying a dinner with my parents then helping to decorate their tree. But now I’m in a bad mood because the Columbus Blue Jackets laid such a big egg.
The most emotion we saw from a Columbus player was Boone Jenner slamming his stick on the boards in frustration. But because it was THAT kind of night, the stick struck Tyler Motte’s hand instead.
If you’re a New Jersey fan reading this, don’t take it as disrespect that I’m not talking about your goals tonight. I’m just too angry to do that. The Devils showed that they are a good team tonight. They were faster and they played with more energy. Nico Hischier showed why he was the top pick of the draft this summer. He was all over the place all night and contributed assists on both Devils goals in the second period. Cory Schneider was lights out, like so many goalies Columbus has faced this season. 41 saves on 42 shots on goal. Of course none of those were second chance shots.
Bob has been less than Bob-like recently. In his two starts since taking 4 days off, he has given up 8 total goals. I still put more blame on the offense for not coming through, but we need Bob to be better, like he was for most of November.
I’m still not talking about the power play but I have to point out that the Jackets were 0/6 tonight in power play opportunities, with just 5 shots on goal and 8 shot attempts. It’s like they have the yips or something. There is too much passing and not enough shooting. Inevitably, one of those passes misses the mark and the puck is cleared out of the zone.
The lone bright spot came from the power play unit, even if it was just after a power play expired. Oliver BJORKSTRAND worked his way to the top of the left circle then fired through a window towards the goal. Nick Foligno was exactly where he was supposed to be - in front of the net - and deflected the puck past Schneider. These are the kind of plays that need to happen more often with the man advantage. When things are going well for this team, these are the types of goals we score.
Like me, Torts didn’t have much to say after the game:
Silver lining: the Blue Jackets get another crack at the Devils on Friday in Newark. Hopefully our boys have a good week of practice and give a better effort then.