Welcome to the first official day of the tank everybody!
The Columbus Blue Jackets responded accordingly, dropping a 4-3 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks. Lineup changes were present throughout, including the season debut of Kole Sherwood and the return of Kevin Stenlund. They’d be playing this game without their captain, Nick Foligno (upper body injury... allegedly) and on the heels of David Savard trade. This game could have gone a couple different ways: 1) The Jackets come out with emotion and jump all over the Hawks or 2) a lifeless performance from a team just playing out the string. Well, we had a little bit of both.
The Jackets did in fact come out flying at the start of this one. Michael Del Zotto
increased his trade value scored just over a minute in off a quick snap shot from the point. It was his second goal in as many games. Great hustle from Zach Dalpe (who nearly scored moments prior) and Alexandre Texier created the scoring chance.
1-0 Jackets ( Del Zotto from Texier and Dalpe)
About two minutes later, Cam Atkinson would be rewarded for going to the net when he deflected a Jack Roslovic pass from in tight. The Blue Jackets would put up the first four shots of the game and generate a pair of goals.
2-0 Jackets (Atkinson from Roslovic)
Game plan:— Bally Sports Columbus (@BallySportsCBUS) April 10, 2021
✅ Score early
✅ Score often pic.twitter.com/dmIMQAFlIO
SPOILER ALERT: It was all downhill from there.
Mikko Lehtonen would go off for tripping Alex DeBrincat about seven minutes in. With just under 40 seconds left in the kill, a stickless Texier slid into Adam Boqvist taking him down and would also head off, giving Chicago a 5-on-3 power play. The PK unit would kill the two-man advantage, but could not finish the job as they’d give up a goal to who else, but Alex DeBrincat. Calvin de Haan would fake a slapper from the point and feed a wide open DeBrincat beneath the left dot, who buried it.
2-1 Jackets (DeBrincat from de Haan and Kane)
The Blackhawks would continue their domination of the latter half of the period keeping the Jackets on their heels. With just over three minutes remaining in the period, the Jackets would ice the puck and lose the ensuing faceoff. A seemingly harmless shot from the point would create a scramble and eventually be cleaned up by recent healthy scratch, Carl Soderberg. The period would end tied, but the feeling this game was over was palpable.
Early in the second period, Chicago would take their first lead of the game when once again, another innocent looking point shot would somehow (barely) find its way into the net. Congratulations to yet another Chicago rookie who’d score his first career goal against the Jackets this year. Coach John Tortorella would challenge the call on the ice for goaltender interference, but the call would stand.
3-2 Hawks (Kalynuk from Suter and de Haan)
After the Jackets went up 2-0, they went on to be outshot 16-1 and outscored 3-0. It was the usual struggles of bad breakouts, neutral zone turnovers and over passing in another game where the Blue Jackets had less than ten shots halfway through the game.
From there, the game started to open up a little bit, seeing chances for both sides. With a few minutes left in the period, Chicago would score their fourth consecutive goal when Dylan Strome finished an odd-man rush with a one-timer from the right circle. Mikhail Grigorenko was made to look silly on that one failing to break up a pair of passes.
4-2 Hawks (Strome from Dach and DeBrincat)
In the final frame, the Hawks were content to make the Jackets retrieve pucks and carry it through the neutral zone. It was a pretty up and down period where the Jackets did have a few good looks. The best chance coming from a horrible clearing attempt that landed right on Oliver Bjorkstrand’s stick, who deposited the puck directly into Lankinen’s glove.
Later in the period, the Jackets would have to kill off a boarding penalty from Mikko Lehtonen. The kill was successful, but the Blue Jackets were left with less than two minutes in the game to make up a two goal deficit.
With Merzlikins out of the net, the Jackets showed a pulse when Patrik Laine FINALLY ended his scoring drought by teeing up a Max Domi feed. Hopefully they aren’t as few and far between from here on out. All of Columbus is happy for him to get that weight off his shoulders.
4-3 Hawks (Laine from Domi)
The Jackets would take their timeout to try and draw something up, but it was for naught as they would fail to maintain possession, allowing Chicago to run out the clock.
The Blue Jackets are back at it Monday evening against this same Blackhawks team. Let the kids play!