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The Sports Daily > Buckeye State Hockey
The Aftermath Game #77: Blue Jackets @ Blackhawks

A game filled with a lot President’s Trophy complications, the Jackets falling just a little bit short was not what the team had envisioned. It wasn’t what they thought it was going to be though, the Jackets didn’t roll over. They pushed all game long but after the Blackhawks scored in the opening thirty seconds, the game changed it’s tenor. Nothing really worked, where do the Jackets go from here?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Good: Sam Gagner

Gagner has been an absolute monster this year and his assist on the lone goal of the game for the Jackets just solidifies how good he has been. It’s going to be a hard decision for the Jackets as they try to figure out whether or not he is going to be worth the money to keep around. If he keeps playing this way, he’ll play his way out of a contract and the Jackets won’t be able to afford him. He continues to impress.

As the offense stalls, it seems like he is one of the few players still competing.

Bad: Markus Nutivaara

Nutivaara has never played this many games in his entire career and his lack of endurance is beginning to show. He had the worst shot differential on the team and it wasn’t particularly close. The Jackets have unlocked the key to their fourth line by putting skill players there. The third pair isn’t having anywhere as big of an impact as it once did. It could be the addition of Quincey or the loss of Murray but either way it is a disappointing development.

They need stability all over the lineup but the defense has been troubling as well. How it will shake out is anyone’s guess but the way it is developing it isn’t great.

Ugly: President’s Trophy

With the loss, the Jackets don’t set themselves up well to win the President’s Trophy and it isn’t great for their home ice chances either. More wins means the Jackets have a real shot at winning the trophy. It is an uphill battle. How they’ll overcome remains to be seen. It should be a goal for the team and the likelihood is seemingly dwindling.

Tweet of the game: