Brandon Dubinsky's words were strong after tonight's game: "It's not good enough."
He must have repeated himself three times, but only often enough to answer each question asked about rallying from a three-goal deficit and talking about the good things the Blue Jackets did in this game. That's not how Dubinsky sees things and nor should he; in a 3-3 game with 76 seconds left in regulation, the Blue Jackets should have left the Bell Centre with at least one point tonight. But they didn't.
Tomas Plekanec's late goal is a tough one to swallow, but one has to rewind the tape a bit further to find where things really went wrong in Montreal. Columbus was down 2-0 less than 12 minutes into the first period and it could have been worse if not for their goaltender, who took some criticism after the game for the long-range goal that proved to be the difference.
A shorthanded goal from Andrei Markov didn't help things and it made the mountain that much taller for the Blue Jackets, who have battled goal-scoring issues but overcame them tonight to tie things up. The positive? They came all the way back and gave themselves a real chance to steal one. The negative? Well, that's obvious.
Let's talk more about tonight's game...
- The Blue Jackets got back what they were missing from Fedor Tyutin tonight. When he's in the lineup, the defense is much more balanced and the minutes are easier to distribute. He played 24:32 tonight and was out there in all situations (as he usually is), but he turned in a solid performance against the Canadiens' speedy top line.
- Columbus' kids were quite all right tonight. Jenner got the headlines for his two-goal performance which included his first in the NHL, and he was a pest for the Canadiens throughout the game. Jenner played over 20 minutes, Johansen scored a beautiful goal in the second period and Murray played another strong game on defense and has not looked out of place.
- Richards didn't need to use his fourth line much tonight because of the nature of the game: Boll played 5:55, Craig clocked in at 6:38 and MacKenzie played 10:04 with heavy duty on the penalty kill. When that unit was on the ice, though, they turned in some solid shifts and played a role in calming the Jackets down late in the first period.
- Not a good night in the plus/minus department for a trio of Jackets: Wisniewski, Atkinson and Dubinsky were all -3.
- The power play has scored some timely goals this season, and it seems to work noticeably well when Letestu is manning the left point. Letestu's quick shot off the draw led to Jenner's game-tying goal and Richards likes Letestu's ability to both distribute and get the puck through as a right-handed shot.
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