Recap: The Columbus Blue Jackets Quit

They gave up late in a loss to Boston, allowing 4 goals in the final 8 minutes.

Last night, the Columbus Blue Jackets traveled to take on the Boston Bruins. Searching for an offensive spark after the loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night, John Tortorella welcomed Sonny Milano and Markus Hannikainen back into the lineup. Milano played on the second line with Boone Jenner and Nick Foligno while Hannikainen took over the wing on the fourth line next to Lukas Sedlak and Matt Calvert.

Boston came in to the game with one of hockey’s hottest lines featuring Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak. It was up to Sergei Bobrovsky to keep this one close for the Jackets.

How did they fare?

First Period

Seth Jones would register the first shot on goal as Tuukka Rask easily saved his backhand attempt. At 2:29, Sean Kuraly (of Dublin, OH) high sticked Sonny Milano and went to the box. It lasted all of 24 seconds before Cam Atkinson’s dreadful season continued as he went to the box for holding Brad Marchand. Despite some end to end action, neither team found a dangerous chance during the four on four period.

Seth Jones made an excellent defensive play to deny Brad Marchand a backhand chance at 7:30. With 11:27 to go, Oliver Bjorkstrand tipped a pass from Atkinson on Rask, but his chance was denied and Rask covered the rebound. Bobrovsky had turned aside seven shots through the halfway mark, but was giving up some juicy rebounds.  Nick Foligno made a sweet play on a back check to break up a prime scoring chance for Boston just after the halfway point.

On a 2 on 1 breakaway, Kuraly fired a shot off of Bobrovsky that was saved. On the ensuing rebound, Tim Schaller sent his shot off the side of the goalpost. On a faceoff, Panarin saw a shot bounce just wide. The ensuing rush up ice let Brad Marchand run a give and go play with Bergeron and Marchand buried it behind Bobrovsky.

Bruins goal: Marchand from Bergeron, 14:48

Off of the faceoff, Ryan Spooner was denied after a cross ice pass found its man. Columbus’ play in this period left a lot to be desired. With 55.9 to go, Seth Jones drew a tripping penalty on Riley Nash for tripping, their first positive action in minutes. The period ended without Columbus taking advantage of the man advantage.

After twenty minutes, Columbus trailed 1-0 on the scoreboard and 16-7 on the shot counter. Not great, nothing resembling a response after Saturday’s loss.

Columbus forward had one shot on net in the first period.

Second Period

The Jackets opened the second period with 1:05 of power play time. The Bruins killed the penalty as Columbus, stop me if you’ve heard this before, struggled to find momentum on the power play. Boston was doing an excellent job forcing anything Columbus attempted to generate to the wide areas of the ice. Cam Atkinson had a clear breakaway at the four minute mark, but the puck rolled off his stick and he never even got a shot. Seconds later, he had another breakaway saved easily by Rask. Cam Atkinson, to put it mildly, was having a terrible night. Bobrovsky made several big saves in the middle of a scrum to keep the deficit at one. The Torts Line Blender went to work, flipping Nick Foligno and Artemi Panarin in an attempt to find some bit of offense. At 6:47, Boston went to the power play as Boone Jenner sat for tripping.

David Backes would capitalize on a goalmouth pass after a mostly solid kill. Cam Atkinson had a shorthanded chance, but a defensive breakdown at the blue line allowed DeBrusk to skate in alone on Bobrovsky and find Backes at the far post all by himself.

Bruins goal: Backes from DeBrusk and Heinen, 8:23

Immediately after the faceoff, Boston came again in a wave and Bobrovsky was forced to deny Kuraly and hold on. After a turnover, Marchand saw his pass blocked aside. At 10:06, Pierre-Luc Dubois went to the box for holding and were able to capitalize. Charlie McAvoy was able to capitalize on a goal mouth pass as he was left all alone and buried it over Bobrovsky.

Bruins goal: McAvoy from DeBrusk and Heinen, 11:53

I can’t even get angry right now. I’m just disappointed. This team is playing terrible hockey, getting completely outclassed in every single phase of the game.

Boston just kept coming in waves and forcing Columbus to keep playing defense, like the Jackets of old. A shift in the defensive zone, a dump, a change, and repeat. Columbus actually forced a save in a scramble in Boston’s crease at 16:30. At 17:01, both Josh Anderson and Zdeno Chara went off for slashing each other. Boston cleared the zone with 1:16 to go and it sailed out for a delay of game, giving the anemic Columbus attack another man advantage. Columbus managed to generate exactly one shot attempt before the end of the period, and it never got to the net. Boston played with a purpose and strong passing, exactly the opposite of Columbus. No shots on net on the power play through two periods.

Columbus trailed 3-0 on the scoreboard and 28-13 on the shot counter.

Third Period

30 total shot attempts through two periods. The Jackets had 31 in the first on Saturday night. As the period started, Brad Marchand took a pass from Bergeron after Boone Jenner forced a pass and Marchand went on a breakaway, but Bobrovsky denied it. You’ll be shocked, but Boston killed the penalty. After coming out of the box, Dubois was hit by McAvoy and both dropped the gloves at 0:53. Seth Jones stole a puck on a clearing attempt but was denied first by a diving Tuukka Rask and then by the side of the goalpost.

Milano took a huge, awkward hit on the boards from Jake DeBrusk at 2:44, and DeBrusk went off for boarding as a result. After some non-existent offense, Markus Nutivaara went off for interference at 4:12, nullifying the penalty. As the Boston power play went to work, the Bruins put on a passing clinic that absolutely demolished the Blue Jackets kill, completely unraveling it. Somehow, the Jackets were able to kill the penalty after clearing the zone.

Sergei Bobrovsky looked like he was shaken up after getting hit in the face with a shot from DeBrusk. Boone Jenner, seconds earlier, had gone off after getting hit in the mouth with a loose puck and drawing blood. Jack Johnson led a rush up ice and found Wennberg after getting buried in the corner. Wennberg fed Anderson who was able to bury the shot behind Rask. Credit to Wennberg, he is on a three game point streak now and he has stepped his game up since Brandon Dubinsky went out

Blue Jackets goal: Anderson from Wennberg and Johnson, 8:32

On the ensuing shift, Sergei Bobrovsky was forced to make a stellar lateral save on Patrice Bergeron. Artemi Panarin made a nice play to set up Dubois, but Zdeno Chara broke up the play.

After some end to end action, Boston was able to pot another. David Backes found Danton Heinen who had gotten behind Alexander Wennberg and was able to beat Sergei Bobrovsky.

Bruins goal: Heinen from Backes and McAvoy, 12:30

On the very next shift, there was a blocked shot followed by a Bruins breakaway. Jack Johnson conceded a penalty shot via near tackle to Tom Schaller who was denied by Sergei Bobrovsky on the ensuing attempt.

lol, Boston won a faceoff and fired a shot from the point and Torey Krug put it past Sergei Bobrovsky. It was a pretty soft goal to allow as Bob had his glove in position.

Bruins goal: Krug from Bjork and Spooner, 15:44

On another rush by the Bruins, the Jackets scrambled in their own end and Dubois’ line was completely lost attempting to control the puck. Marchand found Bergeron and he threw it right past Bobrovsky.

Bruins goal: Bergeron from Marchand and Pastrnak, 17:26

DeBrusk made it 7-1. They quit. They flat out quit.

Bruins goal: DeBrusk from Spooner, 18:50

Hey, a Seth Jones power play goal made this only slightly less of a joke.

Blue Jackets goal: Jones from Nutivaara, 19:46


Boston Bruins 7 Columbus Blue Jackets 2

Shots on goal were 45-18. Utter demolition.

Final Thoughts

The Columbus Blue Jackets quit. Visibly, clearly, flat out fucking quit. Trade someone, strip letters, fire guys. I do not care what happens - this team needs a major shakeup because doing the same things over and over and over while counting on guys who have underwhelmed for 30+ games to regaining a form that they might not find all season. Cam Atkinson and Nick Foligno might be the two worst forwards we’re icing right now, with Boone Jenner a close third behind them. Something has to give.

10 of the 18 shots on goal were by defensemen. That’s disgraceful.

The Blue Jackets have a back to back Wednesday and Thursday, hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs and traveling to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Another performance like that and they’ll lose 10, 12, 14 to 0. This is two 7-2 losses in less than a week. Something has to change.

It’s not just “one game” at this point. The team made these mistakes, said these same things after the Edmonton game, and now less than a week later, the players did the same damn thing. Again. Something in that locker room is rotten, and it needs to be rooted out and changed.

Time’s ticking. Figure it the hell out and start playing like you care, or get replaced with players who do.

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