The Blue Jackets must relax or panic


Photo: Michael Dwyer (AP)

The Artemi Panarin Blue Jackets final, Artemi Panarin's Blue Jackets, has at least a few of its key players out of the lineup after this season, and the team is now sitting on the "never" side of the business . The Blue Jackets lost to the modest Edmonton Oilers Thursday night, which, paired with a Canadiens game against the Islanders, put Columbus out of the playoffs eight days from the end. The Blue Jackets have only collected one point since their last three games. If their goal this year is to win a series of playoffs for the first time in the history of the franchise, it would almost certainly avoid the first group, Lightning, in the first round. – Something must change.

The Blue Jackets – starting goaltender Joonas Korpisalo because their coach said Sergei Bobrovsky was "stung", no matter what it meant – struggled to impose himself in a horrible and boring game that it ended in a 1-1 draw last night. But as soon as Ken Hitchcock decided to reunite his two best players on a single line instead of separating Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, they were separated, this pair being on the ice for all three goals of the Oilers' third period in the game. Victory 4-1. On Tuesday, in the Flames game, the Jackets started well with a goal from Zach Werenski, but then appeared to go out of defense by allowing three consecutive Flames goals in about 10 minutes. A 2-1 OT defeat in Boston in the second straight game of a setback was easier to forgive, but since Saturday's loss, everything is going in the wrong direction.

The team itself seems not to agree on the problem. After the Oilers defeat, Matt Duchene, a new acquisition, said the pressure the team was facing made them tarnish.

"I do not even think the word desperation is the right word, because we're desperate right now, but it's blocking us," he said. "I think we need to be a little lazy and more enthusiastic about the issues here, rather than feeling the weight."

But head coach John Tortorella has the impression that he wants his team to panic more than it does. "I wish there was a panic in the game because it would show despair," he said. "So, I do not agree with that."

"We just have to have some sort of urgency to try to come back into this area or we have no chance. I just do not think we understand the level we need to play now, "he said.

It's time for the Blue Jackets to panic … or not. Whatever their heart rate on the ice, Columbus simply needs to win games. They now have just under 50% chance to play in the playoffs, down 16% from 24 hours ago. Vancouver on Sunday is a place where the Jackets can try to get back on track, but if they do not stay there, this last step will be very dangerous. Four of the next five games will be against teams currently in the playoffs, including a huge home game against Montreal on Thursday.


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