Third Period Woes Continue For Columbus Blue Jackets, Fall 5-0 to Detroit


0. 113. 5. 72. Final

Somehow, some way the Columbus Blue Jackets are going to have to start winning at home. Losing at home always hurts, but getting shut out 5-0 on your own ice is particularly painful. After tonight, the Jackets are now 3-6-0 at home. Not good, and the game tonight was painful in general, so what went wrong?

The most obvious issue with tonight’s game was offensive pressure. The Jackets had chances, but they weren’t able to get aroun Jimmy Howard. Mostly, that was due to a great defensive effort by the Wings. Detroit’s defenders kept the Jackets from setting up any kind of screen throughout the game, and it showed on the scoreboard.

Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The Jackets need to find a more cohesive strategy on offense. It might just be me, but tonight, every time they took the puck into the offensive zone, they looked sloppy. They made bad passes, couldn’t get set up, and didn’t drive to the net. And it was glaringly obvious.

Jimmy Howard was on his game, but the Jackets never really challenged him. They got shots on the net, sure, but for most of the game they didn’t get bodies in front of the net, allowing Howard to read every play, and therefore make every stop. They couldn’t beat him.

The one time they did beat him (although the goal was recalled), they had bodies in front of the net. Nick Foligno made a great play to deke around the defenders, and Boone Jenner was camped in front of the net. Foligno made a great pass and got the puck to Jenner, who, after a lot of commotion in front of the net, got the puck past Howard.

The play was initially called a goal, until the review revealed that the puck was kicked in and the goal was disallowed. However, it was the one play that showed what the Jackets need to do to get around teams who are as strong defensively as the Red Wings are. They need to have patience in the offensive zone, get set up, make good passes, control the puck, and get bodies in front of the goalie. If they do that, they’ll score.

Simple, right? I know it’s not that easy, and it’s certainly a lot easier said than done. It just frustrates me that the Jackets can’t seem to create any offense, despite the capabilities of their forwards.

Anyway, the defensive effort obviously wasn’t there tonight, either. When you lose 5-0, something went wrong on both ends. The Wings’ offense executed their jobs effortlessly, and made Bob look like a fool for the first time in awhile. Detroit’s first goal was the result of a lazy play by the defense, allowing Thomas Tatar to net the game’s first tally.

On their second goal, the Wings had a great screen in front of Bob, who somehow managed to make the stop on a shot from the point, but let off a huge rebound. Gustav Nyquist was all over that rebound, and slammed the puck home top-shelf. 2-0.

More from Union and Blue

It goes on from there. Bottom line is, nothing went quite right for the Jackets tonight. Their play didn’t seem to have the same energy we saw on Saturday, despite having a few nights off. Honestly, the Jackets have been better this season when they play back-to-back than when they have time off. Weird. Anyway, the Jackets dropped this one 5-1, and will look to rebound on Friday, when they welcome another tough opponent to town. Taking on Boston is the Jackets’ next challenge, and I hope it goes better than this one.