The Columbus Blue Jackets coming off of a loss against the Washington Capitals had a statement to make to the rest of the league that they could still hang with some of the best team’s in the league. Facing off against the New York Rangers, they had themselves two very solid periods and a disheveled third.
Let’s show you where it all went wrong.
Good, Bad and the Ugly
Good: Scott Hartnell
One player seems to show up, night in and night out. Scott Hartnell given his age is a rare breed. He is still performing at a high level and it doesn’t matter where you play him, he just keeps chugging along. With two points last night, he was one of the main reasons why the Jackets were ahead for most of the game. He does all of the little things well and is a steadying net front presence, it needs to be said since he is often the odd man out.
Hartnell continues to perform and makes himself a valuable piece for the Jackets. Maybe they should utilize him a little bit more.
Bad: Curtis McElhinney
There was never anyway that Curtis McElhinney was going to go the entire season without losing a game. Peforming how he did though was positively unacceptable if you are a fan of the team. When you play a vast majority of the games like Bobrovsky, you’re going to have an off night, here and there. When you are McElhinney, you need to be on the ball. His season to date has been good but it is well above his career numbers. Posting an .853 sv% stings and shows how vital it was to make a save. He had a couple of goals that were absolutely unstoppable but he also let in a couple of howlers too.
McElhinney needs to better or the Jackets are going to need to move on, simple as that.
Ugly: Holding a lead
If you have watched the Jackets for a long time, you know how often they went back in a shell and just didn’t attack when ahead. The Jackets attacked early and often during the streak, they didn’t let team’s breathe at all. They let the Rangers have a tiny bit of room and they made the most of it. They busted down the doors and tilted the ice. It wasn’t a pretty brand of hockey, for a period of time it looked like we were watching the Jackets of old. If they want to compete at the top of the Metropolitan divison, these are the games they have to put away. They’ll have another opportunity against the Flyers on Sunday, it would be a great opportunity to get that poor taste out of their mouths.