Game 25 Recap: Jackets Listless in Loss to Nashville

The Jackets recent run of Jekyll and Hyde play continued tonight, with the monster showing his ugly face against the Preds.

I cannot say that I care what becomes of Hyde; I am quite done with him. I was thinking of my own character, which this hateful business has rather exposed.- Robert Louis Stevenson

Yeah, I've had enough of this Hyde thing too.

I'll take the Jekyll that we've seen of late though, like the 6-0 win over the Leafs just two nights ago, but I, like every other Jacket fan, want to see success on a more consistent basis. It doesn't have to be 6-0 every time, but at least bring the effort every game. "Never outworked?" Come up with something else, because that promise has been broken.

There was some good news leading up to this game, with Artem Anisimov in the lineup. He took a hell of a hit from Dion Phaneuf on Monday, and it certainly looked like he may have been seriously injured. On this night he started the game with Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson. The trio were generally ineffective, but that could have been said for any player wearing a Columbus sweater.

It was all Preds for the first twenty minutes. The Jackets caught a break midway through the opening period, when after Bob made a save, the puck dropped to his right side. David Legwand was there to hack at the rebound, and would have likely deposited his second chance into the net, but the ref called the play dead.

Seconds later though, after some very good puck movement, the Preds took a one-goal lead. Ryan Ellis wired a beauty slap-pass down low to Matt Cullen, who one-timed the puck past Bobrovsky.

1-0 Predators: Cullen- Ellis, Spaling

The Jackets have shown an ability to bounce back after a goal-against with strong shifts so far this season, but that was not the case tonight. It was all Preds with the exception of one play late in the period, when Calvert found himself behind the Nashville defense, but couldn't solve Marek Mazanec.

With thirty-one seconds left in the opening frame, Atkinson was whistled for hooking. The Jackets killed the first quarter of the penalty to head to the room down by a single goal, but seconds into the second period the Preds connected while up a man.

After a poor line change by the Jackets, the puck made its way to Mike Fisher in the slot, where he wasted no time firing the puck past Bobrovsky.

2-0 Predators: Fisher- Bourque, Josi

The poor play by the Jackets continued. The line juggling began at around the seven minute mark of the period, and the Preds had all of the momentum. Passes were going nowhere, and battles were lost.

Speaking of lost battles, the Jackets lost another behind the Columbus goal. The Preds gained possession, and passed the puck to Legwand, who was waiting in front of the net.

3-0 Predators: Legwand- Stalberg, Bourque

Yeah, that Stalberg.

The lone bright spot on the night was the play and energy of Jack Skille. He was great against Toronto, and continued that tonight. He really brought it, and late in the period he generated a rare scoring chance, and drew a penalty. The Jackets failed to convert, however.

The Boo Birds were in full effect to close out the period.

Two minutes into the final frame the Jackets lost yet another puck battle, and once again it ended up in the back of the Columbus net. This time it was Nick Spaling firing a hard wrister past Bob. Mercifully, this was the end of the scoring for the Preds.

4-0 Predators: Spaling- Cullen, Ellis

Midway through the third, the Jackets finally started to establish their forecheck. After another strong shift by Skille- moved to a line with Anisimov and Calvert-the Jackets actually showed a bit of a heartbeat. It didn't last long though, as the Preds went back to the powerplay to sap the little momentum gained.

The Jackets earned a late powerplay, but Mazanec stood tall to maintain the clean sheet.

FINAL SCORE: 4-0 Predators

Standard Bearers:

Marek Mazanec wasn't really tested, but a shutout is a shutout.
If only every Jacket brought it like Jack Skille tonight.
Ellis/Cullen/Spaling/Bourque with two points each.
Bottom of the Barrel:

  1. Energy level of the Jackets. Where was the hustle?
  2. Injuries. Sure, this is a bit of a cop-out, but the Jackets are almost AHL-caliber at this point, with so many of their top guns out of the lineup.
  3. He's been great this year, but Ryan Johansen was nowhere to be found tonight.

Check out Extra Skater for the Advanced Stats for this game.

The Jackets are back at it on Friday at home against the Oilers.

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