The Blue Jackets Played An Excellent Game Against The Hurricanes, But Couldn't Finish Enough of Their Chances

By Jacob Nitzberg on March 26, 2021 at 9:00 am
Mar 25, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (71) swipes at a rebound after a Carolina Hurricanes goalie Alex Nedeljkovic (39) save during the third period at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

If you thought that the second and third period last night were some of the best periods from the Blue Jackets this season, you're not alone.

"The two periods we played are probably two of the best all year long," said John Tortorella last night after the Blue Jackets fell in overtime to the Hurricanes, 4-3.

In the second and third period, the Blue Jackets outshot the Hurricanes, 28-17. High-danger scoring chances were 15-5, Columbus, per Natural Stat Trick. Despite the 15 high-danger opportunities, the Blue Jackets were only able to produce three goals: Zach Werenski's tally in the second that gave the club a 1-0 lead, Cam Atkinson's power-play goal that tied the game at 2 apiece early in the third period, and Oliver Bjorkstrand's finish with 16 seconds left that tied the game, 3-3, and sent it to overtime.

"We have to work so damn hard to score a goal," said Tortorella. "I'm so frustrated for our guys, because we end up with some glorious chances and it's so damn hard sometimes just to score that goal."

Eric Robinson had his legs going tonight, notching four shots on goal while working hard on the Blue Jackets' "energy line" with Stefan Matteau and Ryan MacInnis. Unfortunately, he's only got one goal in his last 16 games, but he seems to get more breakaway chances than anyone else on the team because of his speed. He just can't find a way to put them away right now.

"(Robinson has) some of the best legs in the league, as far as getting on defenseman, as far as anticipating flips and plays like that," said Tortorella. "He's getting better as a penalty killer, reading plays, ends up with a lot of chances there. But he's gotta finish. He leads the team in breakaways this year. And I'm happy, I think he's improving as a player, but we can't settle for just getting the chances. We need to finish on certain players. Max (Domi) needs to finish in the third period when he walks in on a breakaway."

Five Points Out of Eight

Against a top team like Carolina, who is not only very skilled but also works very hard and forechecks aggressively, a 2-1-1 mark in their four-game series is nothing to be disappointed about, and the Blue Jackets can build on it going forward.

"I hope it keeps propelling us," said Tortorella. "I don't think we played well in the third game against this team...but to come away with the amount of points we have in these last four games against one of the top teams (is something to build on). We just gotta keep on pushing forward and try to get better each game." 

Jones Stays Hot

Seth Jones notched an assist on each of the Blue Jackets' three goals last night. It was his fourth multi-point game of the season, and his fourth career three-assist game. He has seven points in his last five games, and he's playing with some confidence and swagger that wasn't present enough during the beginning of the season. 

"I think we showed resiliency," said Jones. "I think we did a lot of great things tonight...we played a lot better than we did on Monday (and were) very consistent with our battle level. I thought Korpi played well. I thought our forwards were skating, moving their feet in the offense zone, making plays south, and skating out of corners."

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