The Columbus Blue Jackets needed to deliver a strong effort tonight after a lackluster loss on Saturday. It’s also game 2 of a 6 game homestand - a golden opportunity to bank points.
Alas, the boys in blue fell to the visiting Vancouver Canucks, 3-2. They played well enough to win, but...is that a good loss or is it just a loss? Let’s look at the positives and negatives that we can take away from this.
What Went Right
- After getting shut out on Saturday, the Jackets got off to a much better start by striking first in the opening minute of the game. Seth Jones fired a long distance shot that bounced around and finally deflected off of Jay Beagle’s skate into the net.
- Joonas Korpisalo made a few saves like this (let’s ignore that this came on a CBJ powerplay) to hold Vancouver scoreless for the first 48:11 of the game:
- After blowing the 1-0 lead, the Blue Jackets responded quickly with a gorgeous snipe from Oliver BJORKSTRAND. That was just his third goal of the season and his first in 10 games.
- Boone Jenner won 71% of his faceoffs, while Pierre-Luc Dubois and Alexander Wennberg each won 57%.
- The Blue Jackets outshot the Canucks 17-7 in the second period, and 35-25 overall. They had 12 high danger shot attempts while allowing 9. The goals came from outside, but Jakob Markstrom was kept busy all night with shots near the crease:
- Columbus won the expected goals 3.09-1.8.
- Torts rode the first line hard, but it was worth it as they dominated possession when they were on the ice:
What Went Wrong
- The bad news for that first line is that they were on ice for all of the goals against.
- The other bad news in that chart is that Columbus lost the forward depth battle. Wennberg and Anthony Duclair got benched as Torts opted to roll just three lines in the third period following an injury to Josh Anderson
- Here’s that injury, which came near the end of the second period. Anderson skated off the ice under his own power, but went down the tunnel and did not return. Let’s hope for the best:
- All those high danger shots I mentioned? We got nothing to show for them. That doesn’t mean the approach should change; I think they should keep the direct approach we saw tonight, with constant attacking towards the goal. But somehow, someway they need to find a way to finish. Is this something that can be fixed yet this season, or is it simply a skill that this roster lacks?
- On the other side, things turned against the Jackets on three weird goals by Vancouver. The first two were pinball goals - like the Jones goal. The game winner was a hail mary toss down the goal line, which somehow found the one inch hole left between Korpi and the post.
They all count the same Petey! pic.twitter.com/afu2fQc702— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) December 12, 2018
- As unlucky as those goals were, it does not speak well of this team that they are unable to hold a lead. With their talent, they need to be able to hold an early lead once they get it. I don’t think they got complacent last night with that 1-0 lead, but based on how they have played this season I think we all knew that the Canucks were going to tie it up eventually. I miss the swagger of the past two seasons where they could score early and often and not let up.
The homestand continues on Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings.