Three Things: Tough to Find Positives in a Demoralizing Loss Against the Lightning

By Sam Blazer on October 13, 2018 at 10:27 pm
Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh throws a big hit on Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson
Douglas DeFelice-USA Today Sports

Playing one of the best in the league, this game should have been a measuring stick.

The Columbus Blue Jackets could've gone into their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning thinking that they may be able to compete with them. After the Blue Jackets lost the game by a score of 8-2, the team's contender status may need to be put on hold.

While it is only one game, the lack of well, anything, from the Blue Jackets makes for a tough sell to anyone. Columbus has injuries but using that as an excuse only gets you so far. Every team deals with them and for the Blue Jackets to come out so flat against another Eastern Conference foe is going to be a tough sell to anyone that thinks this isn't the same ol' Blue Jackets.

Now onto tonight's "Three Things":

What about Bob?

I already said this on Twitter, but it feels like something was being said by leaving goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in for all eight of the goals against the Blue Jackets. 

Yes, he is trying to negotiate a new contract. Yes, it is a tenuous situation. But why exactly is he being treated any differently this year than in any year before? They started Joonas Korpisalo in the opener, and it is a precarious situation.

Bobrovsky hasn't played a truly stellar game since late in the 2017-18 regular season. Faith is shaken in the long-time netminder. None of the decisions are likely going to affect the outcome for the team this season, but the long-term implications seem to be leaking through. Where in the heck do the Blue Jackets go from here? 

Who is being set up to succeed?

By this point, you know who the top nine of the Blue Jackets are and most of all, you know the top line for them. Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson are all players that can fill the back of the net. When you move down the lineup, the faith in the offense begins to wane. 

You have creators and grinders and some snipers. No one especially is going to scare you on a night in and night out basis. It is a distinct problem for them, and they play Oliver Bjorkstrand and Sonny Milano on the fourth line. Those players are collecting dust, not getting ice time and are being centered by a defensive center in Lukas Sedlak. 

The Blue Jackets need better-constructed lines to allow for their players to play to the best of their ability. No one is scared of a Boone Jenner, Riley Nash, and Josh Anderson line. You have dynamic players, use them.

What are your offensive options?

Adding on top of that, the Blue Jackets are relying on their defensemen to create which is all fine and good, but when you use the term rover, you can't then hold your forwards to a silly defensive standard that you barely hold your defensemen to right now.

The players are being put in situations that are an amalgamation of what they are supposed to be and not placing them in a spot that allows them to show off their skills. Artemi Panarin and Zach Werenski need help, your depth and skill can help you out a lot more than you are letting it.

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