After two consecutive home ice disasters, the Blue Jackets dropped a heartbreaker in a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Nationwide Arena.
In many ways, this was the toughest loss to swallow of the three. The defense was much stingier, they out-chanced and out-shot Vancouver from start to finish, and played a generally solid game. Comparing the tape to previous games, it's clear that this was their most complete game of the three.
But the NHL isn't a place for moral victories, and, two games into a season-long six game homestand, the Blue Jackets are 0-2-0.
We take a look at Joonas Korpisalo's mistake, a simpler approach, and Oliver Bjorkstrand's snipe in tonight's edition of Three Things:
KORPISALO WANTS THAT ONE BACK
After two deflection goals that would be difficult to pin on any goalie, Korpisalo gave up a "squeaker", as Ryan Murray called it, with just 1:46 to play in the third period. There's no way to sugarcoat what happened. It's a terrible goal, and it really leaves a sour taste after a solid effort by the defensive play in front of him for the majority of the game.
In Korpisalo's defense, he made a few key saves, especially a breakaway save on Antoine Roussel. But the difference between playing well and poorly in the NHL is razor thin, and, due to that goal, you can't say Korpisalo played well.
— 1st Ohio Battery (@1stOhioBattery) December 12, 2018
Korpisalo finished with 22 goals on 25 saves, good (bad?) for a .88 save percentage. It's eerily similar to his season line of .885. That's going to need to change.
BACK TO BASICS
Compared to the last two games, this looked like an entirely different team. Defensemen were more inclined to play defense than jump up into the rush, forwards played a simpler, more straight forward game, and the compete level that was lacking on a Saturday night in front of a sold out building was much better. Until the team stabilizes, it was more encouraging that not.
It was evident from the very first shift of the game. After a lifeless 60 minutes against the Washington Capitals, the Blue Jackets scored on their very first shift on a simple shot to the net with traffic.
SILVER LINING SNIPER
Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his first goal in 10 games and just his third on the season. It's a positive development for a young player who's finding his role on the team and in the NHL. After posting 40 points a year ago, he has just 3-4-7 in 25 games this year. If he can get going offensively, this team will be much more dangerous.
— SB (@Sam_Blazer) December 12, 2018
Had his goal held up as the game-winner, he would likely be the story of the game. Instead, he's a footnote in a disappointing end to a promising contest.
Good teams find a way to win. Unfortunately for the Blue Jackets, they weren't good enough.
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