The Columbus Blue Jackets result against the Minnesota Wild wasn't what the team had hoped for coming out of the all-star break. Refreshed and rejuvenated, the team expected to come out strong.
Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson was looked to as a catalyst, and while he came through in the end, he was disappointed in their second period. When talking to the media post-game, he didn't mince words about the middle frame.
"We took our foot off the gas pedal and just didn't battle," said Atkinson.
On many teams, it could be a cause for concern. They dominated territory at times taking the offensive zone at will while at other times giving up their defensive zone quickly. It was a back and forth game that featured uneven play.
Atkinson remained steadfast and knows that with the veterans coming back into the lineup, it will be a process.
"[Dubinsky] hasn't played in a month and a half, this is my second game in a month," Atkinson said. "So it's gonna take some time just coming off break."
Notching an assist while on the power play, Atkinson has already begun to get back to full speed after breaking his foot. The Artemi Panarin goal that he contributed to was a crucial moment in the game. As a leader on the team, it is a play that will need to be facilitated by Atkinson many times over for the Blue Jackets to contend in the division.
When describing the game-tying goal, it sounds like poetry in motion. All parties involved on the goal had a role to play. It gives hope that a stagnant offense can become a force to be reckoned with this season.
"I just wanted to slow the play down and get full control, and finally just gave it to [Seth Jones]. Jonesy slowed it down even more, kind of dragged one of their guys to him, and he gave it to me, and I saw [Panarin] wide open. Hell of a shot by him."