Last night the Columbus Blue Jackets (29-25-5) made their post-Olympics debut. How did the team come back after such a long break? Not so well.
The Blue Jackets were defeated 5-2 by the New Jersey Devils (25-22-13) in an overall terrible showing. They were outscored 3-0 in the first nine minutes and didn’t recover much throughout most of the game.
So how did a team that went so strongly into the Olympic break fall apart? They just could not get it together, both offensively and defensively. They allowed for the Devils to score two power play goals, an area where they had previously played strong. The team failed to make successful shots and Sergei Bobrovksy struggled in the net. The team was just outshines by the Devils, who played smart and together.
The second period, a place where the Blue Jackets struggled earlier in the season was the only real place where they appeared to be at least some of the team they were before the break. Although they Artem Anisimov scored a goal late in the first the team was still behind by two, they needed a good showing in the team needed a strong showing in the second. With that being said, Marian Gaborik was able to score a goal in his first game back since breaking his collar bone which has had him out for the majority of the season. His goal brought the team within one point; the best they could do for the entire game.
This loss came at a crucial time against a team they needed to beat. Prior to last night’s game the Blue Jackets and Devils were tied at 63 points and were competing for 3rd in the Metropolitan Division; a win would have brought them that much closer. Furthermore, the team was playing at their peak just before the break, they are going to need to quickly get back into the swing of things if they even want to have a hope of making it into the playoffs.
Tomorrow afternoon the team is set to make their home debut against the Florida Panthers (22-30-7). The Panthers have struggled this season and the Blue Jackets are in a desperate need of a win; if all goes well tomorrow they’ll get one. If they can beat the teams their expected to, hopefully they can get their season back on track. It’s time for the Columbus Blue Jackets to be a success story.
Think they have a playoff potential?
Tweet me: @AlexLavelle1995