Part of the battle of improvement is knowing where your weaknesses lie and where your strengths can save you. The Blue Jackets aren't starting from scratch but they know they have some work to do to get to the point they want.
"The first period was a really good period for us," said head coach John Tortorella to the assembled media. "Our transition out of our end zone making some plays. Still didn't really develop of offense to the net. The second period was a struggle."
The second frame was a struggle for Columbus. They were outshot in the frame and also out-attempted. A game that was mostly in their control was handed back over to a Blackhawks club that couldn't get out of their own way at times.
The game of hockey can be unfair in that way. You can outplay a team and lose. You can be outplayed and win. It is never a one size fits all moment. The process sometimes doesn't match the results. If the process is there though, more often than not it is a plus.
"It's such a close game. Chance wise, shot wise," said Tortorella. "I guess it is who blinks first."
There is no shame in letting Patrick Kane score on you. It is the fact that there is nothing else that the team can fall back on when he does score on you. Strong goaltending will get you to where you need to be but without a goal, there is no way you can win in the first place.
"We played with a much better structure the first period. Our positioning was better. It helped our transition out. That's what we have to build on."
As is the case with a team playing inconsistently. It is going to be the minor wins that stack up and begin the turnaround. Brick by brick. Just as it's always been.
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