The Columbus Blue Jackets were yet again in Tampere, Finland on Saturday. They were playing the second half of a back-to-back against the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, as a part of the NHL Global Series. The Jackets were looking for revenge as they dropped the first game in heartbreaking fashion. They had tied up the game in the third period, only to let up three late goals, ultimately going down 6-3.
Colorado struck first as they scored just 30 seconds into the game, but Columbus was able to tie it up later in the first period and go into the break 1-1. Unfortunately, the Avalanche took over in the second period scoring three goals and heading into the final period with a 4-1 lead. Colorado added another one in the third as they easily took this one 5-1.
Let's take a look at the three things from tonight.
Two For Two
After going goalless on the power play through the first ten games of the season, the Blue Jackets finally became the last team in the league to record a PP goal, as they notched their first in Friday's game against the Avalanche. Then after waiting so long to get one, they turned around and scored another PP goal in this game, getting two in the last two games.
Joonas Korpisalo's Season Debut
Joonas Korpisalo finally got his first start of the season as he was finishing his rehab after having hip surgery back in March. Columbus has struggled quite a bit in goal this year, so they were hoping that having Korpisalo in the net would give the team a much-needed spark. The Finnish goaltender worked hard and made some very impressive saves, but he was ultimately hung out to dry too often as he faced quite a few two-on-one fast breaks.
He ended up letting in five goals and finishing with .889 SV%. This was definitely not the kind of debut the fifth line was looking for, but Korpisalo did give reason for hope with some spectacular saves.
Continued Offensive Struggles
Even though it has been encouraging to see the Blue Jackets finally starting to figure out the power play, the club is still struggling with overall offensive production. Last season, Columbus was able to offset their defensive deficiencies with a record number of goals scored in a season.
This year, their defense and goaltending have been arguably worse than last season, and to add insult to injury, their offense has also been lacking. Due to their success last season as well as the offseason acquisition of Johnny Gaudreau, most thought that offense would be no problem. But that has sadly not been the case, as the Jackets have had a -2 goal differential per game through the first 12 games.
This game was no exception as they not only managed to score only one goal to Colorado's five but they were also outshot 45-32.
The Blue Blue Jackets have several days off as they travel back home. They will be back in action on Thursday as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers. The puck drop is at 7 p.m. EST.