Three Things: A Second Period From Hell, The Kevin Stenlund Experience, And Some Ominous Vibes From a Sputtering Team

By Rob Mixer on February 15, 2021 at 9:58 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (13) is congratulated by right wing Patrik Laine (29) after his goal against the Carolina Hurricanes the first period at PNC Arena.
James Guillory–USA TODAY Sports

These types of games are...troublesome.

The Blue Jackets had toothless leads of 2-0 and 3-1 before the Carolina Hurricanes ran them out of the building. Don't let the shot count fool you; Columbus capitalized on some early opportunities and that was about it for them.

They didn't test James Reimer. They did their own goaltenders no favors. The Blue Jackets assembled perhaps their ugliest performance in some time in a 7-3 loss to the Hurricanes. If there's a bright side (there isn't), their loss wasn't the worst in the NHL on this night. The Maple Leafs blew a 5-1 lead to lose in overtime to the Ottawa Senators.

"It was just an ugly game," Cam Atkinson said. "We were soft all around tonight. Just kind of embarrassing on our part. We have to be way better if we want to win in this league."

Here are tonight's three things.


The Blue Jackets are a defensive adventure.

In this context, "adventure" is not a noun nor is it a compliment.

For whatever reason, the team that prided itself on being stingy and connected the last three-plus years has completely ejected. They are, at times, horrific in their own zone and the status quo hovers somewhere between competent and problematic. In a division chock full of teams that can score goals, it has not been a pleasant experience.

This started late in the first period, when the Blue Jackets–who led 2-0 early and caught a fortunate break on a goal reversed due to offside (imagine that!)–decided to abandon all semblance of defense and let the Hurricanes run rampant in their zone. Jordan Staal made it 3-2 late in the period before Carolina started rumbling down the runway in the second period.

In the blink of an eye, a 3-1 lead became a 4-3 lead for the Hurricanes. It happened...very quickly, which is about as disturbing as the mistakes that led to the change in events.

For the third time this season, the Blue Jackets gave up six. Twelve (12) different Hurricanes registered at least a point and two Carolina players, Brock McGinn and Teuvo Teravainen, had four-point nights. 


Andrei Svechnikov has "The Svech," the lacrosse-style goal that we know well.

Is Kevin Stenlund on the road to copyrighting his own move? This was insane.

Whether he thought he could score or not, merely making contact here is mind-boggling. As someone who sees the improbable (some good, mostly bad) in a Sunday night adult hockey league, a similar attempt would put someone on injured reserve. 

Oh, and there's this: Stenlund has a point in each of the six games he's played with the Blue Jackets this season. This goal, as unfathomable as it seemed, gave Columbus a 3-1 lead in the first period before everything dissipated into dust. 


The Blue Jackets now must look in the mirror, even if they don't like what they see.

What they did Monday night simply wasn't good enough. It was brutal, in many areas. Joonas Korpisalo left after 40 minutes of work and five goals on 25 shots. He wasn't great, but what happened in front of him was NSFW.

"We were on our toes (in the first period)...then for whatever reason, they got one and the momentum shifted, we were on our heels and we were afraid to make plays. It's just unacceptable," Atkinson said. 

"You feel bad for Korpi...he can only do so much. We're used to winning (games) 1-0 or 2-1, but to let in seven... we have to turn the page on move on."

They're back at it Thursday, and between now and then, they have plenty of things to sort out.