Aftermath No. 14: Ottawa

Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 10:00 PM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com



Hockey can sometimes be a game of bounces: good bounces, bad bounces, you name it...but as Brandon Dubinsky said after tonight's game, sometimes you have to make your own breaks.

The Blue Jackets are on the wrong end of those breaks right now and are struggling mightily to score goals. They scored just their third goal in three games tonight, a power play goal from RJ Umberger that brought Columbus within a goal early in the third period.

Did it feel like they had a comeback in them? Absolutely, and especially so given the number of chances they had generated in the first two periods.

But when the margin for error is small, it can often feel microscopic. 

Chris Neil, who hadn't been much of a factor in a game that had its share of snarl, delivered the crushing blow to the Jackets' comeback hopes with six minutes to play. Jason Spezza recognized the Blue Jackets were caught up ice and engineered what became a 3-on-2 rush when Neil joined the play late.

Spezza, as he so often does, laid a perfect pass into space and Neil walked into a wrister that McElhinney didn't appear to see.

That's all it took - one mistake. One breakdown. It's the line the Jackets are walking right now and it's the difference between getting back on track at home and losing for the fourth straight game. 

Here are some random thoughts, notes and observations...

- Ryan Johansen has really come on in the last couple of weeks, and he was the Jackets' best forward tonight. He played nearly 21 minutes (20:45), fired four shots on goal and was 58 percent (7-for-12) in the face-off circle. He anchored what was Columbus' best line in the middle of Umberger and Atkinson.

- Thought Ryan Murray was noticeable in a good way tonight and he continues to look poised and confident manning the Jackets' No. 1 power play unit. Murray played 20:38, also with four shots on goal, and saw a lot of ice against the Senators' scoring lines. 

- Curtis McElhinney bounced back from the two first-period goals (he had no chance on the MacArthur goal that made it a 2-0 game) and gave the Blue Jackets a chance to win this one. He ended the game with 20 saves and a handful were high-quality, but couldn't keep three big miscues out of the Columbus net. 

- Umberger's power play goal was a just reward for the man advantage unit; the Blue Jackets were buzzing all night long on the power play and finally cashed in early in the third period.

Dubinsky made a nice play to free up the puck, and Umberger rifled it through Lehner's pads while almost seated on the ice. He was rewarded for a really strong game with the two kids.

- In his 400th NHL game, Jared Boll celebrated as only he can with two fights: the first, a brief bout with Matt Kassian just 2:08 into the first period and the second a spirited scrap with Neil. 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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