After a stretch of rough games, the Columbus Blue Jackets were beginning to stare down the end of a cliff that they didn't want to be heading towards. Within their division, they saw multiple teams jump them in the standings and with iffy play all over the ice, they need to string together some games to really keep themselves in contention.
While it was only one win, the Blue Jackets were able to simplify their game and put pucks on net to enable them to play their game.
"I'm not going to go into a negative thought about our game because I thought there was some good things that happened in (the defensive) part of the game," said head coach John Tortorella. "The first two periods, there wasn't a whole bunch of offense by either team, and we found a way to win a game. That's very important for us to get two points here no matter how ugly it was."
Ugly. That is the word that fans don't want to embrace, but when it is getting you results, it means absolutely everything. As Cam Atkinson saw in the first period, getting the puck on the net is important. Max Domi saw the exact same thing. It doesn't have to be a cross-ice pass for it to count any differently. The win column is all that is going to matter at the end of the day.
"That is a strange one for sure, but when you're hot, you're hot," Atkinson said. "You just shoot the puck and good things happen. It wasn't the prettiest, but I'll take that and run away with it forever."
The result was what they wanted, but they also need to begin to pair it with the process as well. They were able to exit on a more consistent basis, which pleased Tortorella. That is just one part of it, and if they want to get back to what they were doing last season consistently, it is going to take playing the game their way.
"In one part of the game, just as far as how we entered back in our end zone, our positioning, I thought was much better tonight," said Tortorella. "Obviously in the third period, we had a lot of practice at it. We spent a lot of time in (our defensive zone, which I wasn't thrilled with."
Not being thrilled is okay. They know that there are places that they can improve. For now, a win is a tasty treat they can all savor. They'll take it every time.
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