If the Blue Jackets were fired up for their crucial matchup against the Flyers, they sure didn't show it.
A lack of focus, energy, and hustle in the biggest game of the year now means the Blue Jackets are on the outside looking in on the Eastern Conference playoff picture, with just 21 games to go.
They allowed five goals on just 15 (!!) shots, and it's arguable that the majority were the goaltenders' fault. Elvis Merzlikins started the game but was pulled in the third period after allowing his fourth goal on his 12th shot faced.
The Flyers scored on a deflection, a whiffed shot, another deflection, a deflected puck that just trickled under Merzlikins' pad, and a power-play goal that saw the Flyers move the puck around the zone so quickly that the Blue Jackets may have well as just sat down on the ice.
Every team in the NHL will lay an egg, from time to time. The Red Wings have wins over the Bruins (x2), Canadiens (x3), Oilers, Stars, and Knights.
The problem is that this was perhaps the worst possible game that the Blue Jackets could have chosen to lay that egg. Against a divisional rival, battling for a playoff spot, with less than a quarter of the season left is an inopportune time to display the lack of effort and focus that the Blue Jackets did tonight.
The loss of Seth Jones may be too much for the Blue Jackets to overcome. Jones was injured during a game vs. the Avalanche, and while he did come back and finish the game, it would end as a loss for the Blue Jackets and the last game for Jones for 8-10 weeks. If you count that game, the Blue Jackets are 0-6 without Jones.
There's light at the end of the tunnel, however. If the Blue Jackets can snap out of their funk and dispatch the Flyers on Thursday night at Nationwide, they'll be right back in the hunt.
That's a big if.