Artemi Panarin announced last week that he officially wanted to wait until the summer to talk about his next contract.
Then, the Blue Jackets lost three straight games.
That bumped them to a total of five losses in a row, and surely this announcement had a tiny role in getting in players' heads. Thankfully, the skid was snapped with a solid 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
The Blue Jackets continue their western road trip tonight against the Arizona Coyotes at 9:00 PM ET (nothing like some late-night hockey, right?).
Despite a sputtering of play in the past two weeks, the Jackets are hanging on by a thread to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Games like tonight are *necessary* wins: you don't want to look back in April wishing you would've snagged two more points on a Thursday night against the struggling 'Yotes, who have lost four straight.
Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson
Duclair – Wennberg – Bjorkstrand
Foligno – Jenner – Anderson
Hannikainen – Sedlak – Nash
Murray* – Jones
Werenski – Savard
Harrington – Nutivaara
- Alexander Wennberg scored his second goal of the season on Tuesday, and his first since Nov. 10. Seriously. That's real. It's nice to see Wennberg get back on the score sheet, though - and maybe watching the replay of his goal will show him how nice of a shot he has and that it absolutely should continue to be used.
- Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Murray did not play on Tuesday, and their availability for tonight is unknown. The Jackets would surely like to have Murray back as soon as possible - who is riding a career high in 24 assists and is tied for a career high in points. Dubinsky has one less goal than he did last season already, but his production value is still low.
- The Arizona Coyotes are almost at the bottom of the league in points, but are somehow only three points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference? Man, what it'd be like if the Jackets were still there.