Blue Jackets Tempt Fate in Ugly Loss to Buffalo Sabres

By Dan Dukart on January 12, 2018 at 11:10 am
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Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

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Déjà vu, at least, almost. The past two Blue Jackets games have had eerily similar qualities.

Against the Maple Leafs, the Blue Jackets found themselves playing well (John Tortorella admitted he liked their start) but trailing 2-0 late in the third, when the team caught fire. They scored twice in the final five minutes to send it to overtime, where Zach Werenski and Artemi Panarin teamed up for the game-winning goal

It was an emotional win for the Jackets, the kind of win that brings the team together, as they say.

Just a few days later, playing a Sabres team at the bottom of the standings and already on a five-game losing streak, the Blue Jackets...found themselves playing well but trailing 2-0 late in the third, when the team started to catch fire. Panarin scored a dazzling power play goal and hit his third post of the game just minutes later.

In the end, it wasn't enough and the Jackets lost 2-1, proving an annoyingly accurate cliche correct, once again: you play with fire long enough, you're gonna get burned.

The margin for error in the NHL is razor thin. The worst teams in the NHL can beat the best teams on any given night if the other team doesn't bring their 'A' game, and the Blue Jackets learned that lesson the hard way. 

Watching the club follow up an emotional win in Toronto with a loss in Buffalo was like watching a meteor come crashing down to earth. What's worse, it's just one day before the team's NHL-mandated bye-week. That's the bad news.

The good news: the Blue Jackets have the chance to redeem themselves as they take on the (rested) Vancouver Canucks this evening at Nationwide Arena.

In the NHL, team's are best served not getting too high from a big win or too low from a bad loss. If the Blue Jackets can manage to undo all of the momentum gathered from their magical win in Toronto, there's hope that they can rid themselves of the bad taste this bad loss leaves in their collective mouths.

And that opportunity comes knocking, and soon.

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