While sports fans in Columbus, Ohio were licking their wounds after Ohio State football’s loss to Michigan, they turned to the Blue Jackets to salvage their Saturday. Instead, the Jackets delivered a performance that was as sickening as a Thanksgiving leftover that sat out too long on the kitchen counter.
The Jackets were on the road for the back leg of a back-to-back, and had been outplayed the night before against Vancouver. One would expect a struggle, but could they rebound? The early returns were promising, as the Jackets drew first blood behind a Boone Jenner power play goal:
We’ll be watching this on repeat— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) November 28, 2021
That’s the captain’s 10th goal of the season, and he remains the team leader in that category.
Through the first 20 minutes, that 1-0 score held and shots on goal were even at seven, though the Jackets held a 21-9 edge in shot attempts.
The second period, however, started as poorly as it could, with two goals from the Blues in the first two minutes. They added a third goal later in the period, and frankly it could have been a lot worse: they had a total of 23 scoring chances in the second. The Jackets defense was like swiss cheese, and Joonas Korpisalo did himself no favors with juicy rebounds. There was evidence of both on the second goal:
NHL Video Highlight - Ivan Barbashev scores against the Columbus Blue Jackets to make it 2-1. pic.twitter.com/DJtaOSRrlv— Blue Jackets Game Bot (@CBJGameBot) November 28, 2021
The third period showed some promise with Adam Boqvist scoring the second power play goal of the night just over a minute into the final frame:
Alas, the Blues would dominate possession for the next ten plus minutes, and expanded their lead to 6-2. Boqvist added another goal, but it was too late to matter:
Adam Boqvist is BACK! He played a season-high 20:48 and recorded his first multi-point game of the season (2G, 1A). He now has a three game point streak (3G, 2A).
The forward lines got a shuffle, with Cole Sillinger and Jack Roslovic trading places. The Hofmann/Sillinger/Domi line had a 77.78% CF% in 7:48 of 5v5 action. They were the only forward line with double digit shot attempts, but only three were high danger.
Korpi was...well, he was what he has been. The defense left him out to dry, and he made some good saves along the way, but the fact of the matter is he allowed six goals vs. 3.33 expected. Elvis Merzlikins can steal a game like he did last night, but Korpi needs both goal support AND sharper defense in front of him.
The four game road trip that began tonight continues on Tuesday night in Nashville. The Predators lost tonight as well, by a score of 6-2 in Denver against the Avalanche.