The Columbus Blue Jackets came away with two points in a 2-1 shootout victory against the New Jersey Devils. While the two points were crucial in the midst of a playoff race, this is a Columbus squad who clearly can play MUCH BETTER.
Early on, it looked like business as usual, with Cam Atkinson taking a puck off the boards and beating Cory Schneider to put the road team up 1-0.
After that, it was not pleasant to watch for CBJ fans the rest of the way.
Travis Zajac tied the game up 1-1 with three minutes remaining in the second period. It was the last goal that would be scored by either team through 65 minutes.
Columbus was outshot 30-18 and never seemed to find a rhythm.
Team Captain Nick Foligno had this to say regarding the struggles his team endured:
It has nothing to do with X’s and O’s in this time of year. It’s just how hard are you willing to work and compete…Have fun, enjoy it, be loose…It’s amazing how your game takes off from there.
Atkinson, who scored the lone goal for the CBJ through regulation and overtime, talked about the opposition:
They just worked hard…They outbattled us.
Despite the Jackets not playing near their potential, Atkinson and Artemi Panarin both scored with their shootout opportunities, while Sergei Bobrovsky did his part, not allowing a New Jersey player to score.
Brandon Dubinsky shared his thoughts afterwards:
It’s an ugly win…We gotta get back to better habits.
John Tortorella addressed the media with three words to describe what the main issue is with his club:
I don’t know.
While Torts couldn’t pinpoint the number-one concern with Columbus, he did have this to say about the club moving forward:
We gotta stay together and try to find some more consistency.
Indeed, the Columbus Blue Jackets will need to be a hell of a lot more consistent if they have any hopes of defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in their next matchup, which will be on the road Thursday night in front of a national audience.