As an Ohioan, it is always hard to watch a team lose to Pittsburgh. And that’s exactly what happened during both matchups this past weekend between the Columbus Blue Jackets (5-8-0) when they faced the Pittsburgh Penguins (11-4-0).
Friday’s game was rough from the start and nothing improved for the Blue Jackets on Saturday. During the first of the two games, it only took the Penguins 5 shots on goal to score and then they were able to score three more in a time span of just over four minutes in the second period. The team and everyone watching the game knew it was going to be hard for the Blue Jackets to fight back after quickly being down by four.
The team was able to fight back some by scoring a goal late in the second period and then early again in the third, but they didn’t have enough in them that late in the game to fight back from a deficit.
Then Saturday happened, where the Blue Jackets lost 3-0. In that game, the Blue Jackets were able to slow down the Penguins offense at first, but were unable to get the puck through Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff, a rookie who got his first career shutout. The Penguins controlled the puck for the majority of the third period and it was all the Blue Jackets could do to keep up.
So what needs to be done before Tuesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators (4-6-4)? Well first, at Monday’s practice the Blue Jackets were trying some new line combinations. They consisted of:
Foligno – Dubinsky – Gaborik
Umberger – Johansen – Atkinson
Anisimov – MacKenzie – Letestu
Comeau – Chaput – Boll
Second, when asked about how the Blue Jackets were planning to improve on their weak performances during the second period, coach Todd Richards said that to team needs to work on re-focusing for the second. He went on the say that the team has yet to play at their full potential for the entire game and that needs to be corrected before it is too late.
Finally, for Tuesday’s game, the Blue Jackets need to use the first of their three coming up home games to regain some steam. The Senators are also coming off of a tough loss on Sunday in overtime against the Dallas Stars (6-6-2). The Senators have struggled this season, but are used to playing on the road. The game should be an easy win if the Blue Jackets can pull everything together and play strong throughout the entire game.
All in all, the Blue Jackets need to put this past weekend behind them and work on continuing their season on a positive note. This week has the possibility to turn the Blue Jackets season around, they just have to focus on what needs to be done and not get stuck doing past mistakes.
Read more Blue Jackets rumors, news and opinion on our Columbus Blue Jackets page