Three Things: Not Enough Offense, Not Enough Defense, And Another Tough Loss

By Ed Francis on February 27, 2021 at 5:46 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (70) blocks a shot by Nashville Predators center Matt Duchene (95) during the third period at Bridgestone Arena.
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

At least they're giving up less goals?

For only the second time this season, the Columbus Blue Jackets have went consecutive games without giving up more than two goals in either game.

Unfortunately, neither game this time around has resulted in a win - or even a point. After being held off the scoreboard in a Thursday loss to Chicago, the Blue Jackets were in Nashville on Saturday afternoon and could muster up just one goal in a 2-1 loss to the Predators.

Here are three things from an afternoon of hockey in Nashville. 


Cam Atkinson scored the only goal of the game for the Blue Jackets, and he now leads the team in both goals (9) and points (17) this season. Patrik Laine has been a weapon and Jack Roslovic has been better than expected, but any NHL team that is going to contend needs to have secondary scoring. 

Nashville and Columbus are 26th and 27th, respectively, in goals allowed per game. So as frustrating as the Blue Jackets have been on defense, Nashville has given up an almost identical number of goals. Yet, the Predators looked like a defensive force this afternoon. Part of the reason for that is that secondary scorers are not only not scoring, they're not even getting shots. Max Domi, Emil Bemstrom, Kevin Stenlund, Alexandre Texier, and Nick Foligno combined for two shots. That's simply not enough. 


Neither Nashville goal was pretty - both came from the stick of Mattias Ekholm (his first two goals of the season) and both came from nearly the blue line. But both goals can be traced back to the Blue Jackets continued difficulty to get the puck out of their own zone. For a team that was priding itself on defense and puck-control coming into the year, it's certainly been a sight for sore eyes. 


Joonas Korpisalo had one of his better games of the season. He stopped 31 of 33 shots and both Nashville goals were of the seeing-eye variety. The Blue Jackets, frankly, were lucky to have a chance in the final moments. That game had 4-1 (or worse) written all over it, but Korpisalo turned in a quality outing and that should not be discounted.