Sometimes stuff happens in a hockey game that you can’t make up. The Columbus Blue Jackets led the Ottawa Senators 3-1 halfway through regulation on Friday night, that is—until things took a turn for the worse.
The Columbus Blue Jackets seemed to be in control on Friday night through 30 minutes of action. The Jackets scored three goals in a span of 3:09 in the second period—two of which came off the stick of Sonny Milano and one from Josh Anderson.
What happened next was shocking.
At the 14:14 mark of the second period, Nick Paul simply guided the puck towards the net from just inside the blue line. The puck was moving very slow, and, at the time seemed harmless. Sergei Bobrovsky put his stick out to hit the puck toward the boards behind him. Bob’s stick ended up slightly deflecting the puck toward him, as it went underneath the Jacket’s goaltender and into the back of the net to cut the Columbus lead to 3-2. The goal was Paul’s first of the season and surely one he’ll never forget.
After the game John Tortorella had this to say:
We’re up 3-1 and we’re in a great position. And then…It goes south from there.
The game-tying goal for Ottawa came thanks to a couple CBJ defenders putting themselves out of position (or out of play if we’re getting technical). Jack Johnson lost control of the puck while making an aggressive march into the offensive zone. When Ottawa got the puck, it was too little too late for Scott Harrington, who was off the ice in the midst of a line change. The final result was a game-tying goal at the 18:52 mark of the second period by Matt Duchene.
Torts had this to say about his team regarding the the Blunder from Bob and how the CBJ reacted:
If we can’t…get our game back…and get some sort of push at that point in time, because of that goal, then there’s, there’s major problems.
At the 7:41 mark of the third period Ottawa scored their fourth goal of the game, taking the lead for the first time all night. The goal was a rather-odd one as well. Mark Stone shot a puck at Bobrovsky and it looked like he had it pinned against the post with his skate. Stone got to the net, took multiple whacks at the puck, and somehow got it past Bob into the net.
It only took 100 seconds for the Sens to make it 5-3, as Erik Karlsson took charge in transition and delivered a centering feed to Bobby Ryan who sniped the puck into the net.
The Columbus Blue Jackets ended up losing by a final score of 5-4 and have now blown a two-goal lead in back-to-back games.
It was an odd feeling watching what had transpired. The Blue Jackets seemed to be in cruise control up 3-1; then the wheels suddenly fell off.
Torts, like us, is along for the ride and ready to see how his team responds:
It’s a situation, I’m anxious to see how guys handle themself.
The “situation” for the Columbus Blue Jackets is that they’ll be back in Columbus, Ohio on New Year’s Eve hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning.
As for a silver lining, Tortorella made it clear that IF his team makes the playoffs, then this sort of adversity could actually help the club in the long run:
I think when you…work through it, you scratch and claw and, and you try to find some traction—You become a better team when you need to be a good team, at the end of the year…If you have the opportunity to keep playing.