Three Things: Blue Jackets Struggle to Finish Chances As They Fall to The Arizona Coyotes

By Jacob Nitzberg on December 3, 2019 at 11:58 pm
Oct 23, 2018; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (3) carries the puck as Arizona Coyotes left wing Lawson Crouse (67) defends during the first period at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jackets scratched and clawed their way through 60 minutes of hockey, but weren't able to get the result they wanted tonight, falling 4-2 to the Arizona Coyotes.

A Dean Kukan power play goal tied the game at 1-1, but the Coyotes stormed ahead and scored twice to make it 3-1. Alexandre Texier added a goal in the third period to make it 3-2, but an empty netter from Arizona sealed the Blue Jackets' fate.

Let's get into three things from tonight's loss. 

Finish, Finish, Finish

The Blue Jackets have had a common theme throughout this season: outshooting their opponent, but losing. That rang true tonight, as the Blue Jackets outshot the Coyotes 35-28. 

Although the Blue Jackets are generating chances, there are two important factors that are limiting their scoring. The first? They're not finishing enough of them. It's easier said than done, but the Blue Jackets should be finishing more chances than they have been.

Secondly, the quality of the chances that the Blue Jackets created tonight was not entirely outstanding. They were tied on high-danger chances created with the Coyotes at six apiece, despite the 4-2 final scoreline.

Kukan Gets His First (Regular-Season) Goal

He scored in the playoffs last year, but tonight, Kukan notched his first NHL regular-season goal on the power play.

He ripped it top-shelf, and there was nothing Darcy Kuemper could do about it. What a beauty.

Lineup Consistency?

Eric Robinson drew in for Emil Bemstrom tonight, but he only played six minutes and 50 seconds. 

As John Tortorella tries to find consistency with his lineup, it's troubling that he brought in a skater and only found roughly seven minutes of ice time for him. Tortorella is known for being willing to healthy scratch just about anyone in order to try and light a fire underneath them, but that's been done to mixed results this season.

The Blue Jackets find themselves mired in an offensive slump, and Tortorella is turning everywhere for help. It just hasn't panned out yet.

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