Proverbial wisdom states that you shouldn’t get too close to a Flame, you’ll get burned. But tonight, it was the opposite for the Blue Jackets who, despite 59 total shot attempts, saw their sticks go ice cold in a battle against Calgary’s hockey club and fall 2-0 in their first shutout of the season.
The “week of too many games” crossed the halfway point tonight and it was a trap game if you ever saw one coming according to Jackets head coach John Tortorella. After a fairly even first period, the inability to capitalize on a four minute power play, coupled with sloppy passing and a strong performance by Chad Johnson in Calgary’s net caused the burnout of Columbus’ offense and put an end to their seven game point streak.
Let’s take a look at the superlatives.
Much has been made as of late about the Jackets underlying shot metrics and save percentage and how the team is bound to fall to earth eventually. The good news was tonight, the team ended up with just one shot short of the 60-65 range that Tortorella has set as a target for the club. That resulted in score and venue adjusted CF of 52.76% on the game marking the fifth game in a row with a +50% shooting share. That’s not exactly scorching, but for a team that was beleaguered by poor shot attempt abilities last season, it’s a step. But…
The Shots the Jackets took weren’t particularly well placed. Post-game both Brandon Saad and Tortorella were quick to emphasize that the shot total didn’t tell the story of the game tonight. Shots were not getting inside, in the high danger zones, and to illustrate why Torts could be happy in a losing effort on Monday because of a high shot count, he clarified that the team had 20 scoring chances versus Colorado compared to 7-8 versus the Flames, basically extinguishing the opportunity to get ahead.
The part of the game the Jackets have been able to hang their hat on this season has been a league leading power play unit. Tonight, that very unit got burned going 0-4, and, amplifying an element of the sloppy play throughout, the double minor to start the second generated six controlled exits and four controlled entries…there shouldn’t be near that much transition in a power play. At all.
Hot Take of the Game
The Jackets need to get fired up once again as they prepare for the second back to back of this brutal week of games as they head down to Tampa on Friday and Florida on Saturday.
Feel Good Moment
Wash away your hockey frustration tonight with this…a delightful use of teeny tiny hockey players and…turkey costumes. It is glorious.