Three Things: Losing Streak Hits Five Games As Blue Jackets Unable To Match Blues

By Dan Dukart on February 2, 2019 at 9:45 pm
Joonas Korpisalo looks on in a 4-2 loss to the St.Louis Blues
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jackets dropped their fifth consecutive game, extending their season-worst streak, in a 4-2 home loss to the St. Louis Blues

St. Louis, who was coming off their bye week, hadn't played a game since January 23. Still, they were a step ahead of the Blue Jackets, and never trailed throughout the whole game.

Things started poorly for the Blue Jackets as they trailed 2-0 heading into the first period intermission, and the home team was never able to recover. In front of a capacity crowd at Nationwide Arena, it was a disappointing loss.

Here are tonight’s three things.

Korpisalo (Extremely) Average

The difference between being an AHL goalie and NHL goalie is literally decimals. Korpisalo was leaky, and two of the three goals he gave up were stinkers that went through his five hole and died in the blue paint behind him. Both times, Blues players beat Blue Jackets defenders to the puck for easy tap-ins. 

The frustrating thing is that Korpisalo made some pretty incredible saves. In the first minute of the game, he stopped a 2-0 from Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Pietrangelo. But the truth of the matter is the margin for error is super thin in today's NHL, and, at least tonight, the difference was Korpisalo's poor play.

Where Are The Scoring Chances?

Sometimes, hockey analysis is more complicated than it needs to be. The team that dictates play and creates more chances has more opportunities to score. They score more goals, they win the game. Sound like Saturday?

According to Natural Stat Trick, the Blue Jackets tallied just 41.67% of shots, getting blown out in possession. The home team generated just 42.86% of scoring chances and (gasp) 26.67% of high-danger scoring chances. That's right the Blue Jackets had just four of the 15 high-danger plays all night.

Even more frustrating, trailing 2-0 heading into the third period, the Blue Jackets were super flat in the third period (until late, at least). The home team had just six shot attempts (!) in the third period, as opposed to 23 against. Amazingly, they scored on two of those chances. Still, against a young and inexperienced goalie and on a four-game losing streak, one would expect a bit more by way of shot attempts in a huge period.

Oliver Bjorkstrand

I suppose if there's a silver lining, Bjorkstrand has scored in consecutive games, and three goals in his past five games. He's struggled this year, no doubt, but he deserves more than the 12:00 he's averaged in the 45 games prior to this game (he played 14:11 on Saturday).

It's not rocket science that offensive players do well when playing with talented offensive players, and there's no doubt that he benefited from playing on (at times) a line with Artemi Panarin. Panarin made a beautiful pass on the goal that cut the lead to 2-1, finding Bjorkstrand on the far post for a one-time beauty. He was also on the ice when Korpisalo was pulled, which is a positive development. If the Blue Jackets move Panarin, Bjorkstrand's importance on the roster will continue to increase. How will that turn out? Time will tell out. 

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