Through the first two games of the season, the Columbus Blue Jackets showed potential gaining a victory and a shootout loss against a pair of tough Central Division foes. But optimism has quickly changed into pessimism in Columbus following the Blue Jackets’ latest road trip.
The pessimism is rooted in the Blue Jackets’ struggle to score goals in the post Rick Nash era. Four games into the season, the Jackets do not have a player on the roster that has earned a second goal this season. In an evening, one player scored two goals against the Blue Jackets’ defense.
After being dominated 5-1 Wednesday evening by Phoenix in a sloppy affair, Columbus was unable to improve its result by getting shutout by the Colorado Avalanche by a final of 4-0 on Thursday evening. Columbus falls to 1-2-1 on the season.
Colorado forward Matt Duchene led the Avs with two goals.
The Blue Jackets were without forward Cam Atkinson who has a lower-body injury. His status is considered day-by-day. Taking his spot in the lineup was Derek MacKenie who came off his first healthy scratch of the season on Wednesday against Phoenix.
Things did not look good early for Columbus. Just 51 seconds into the contest, PA Parenteau put the Avs on the board as he was fed by former Jackets defender Jan Hejda. The goal wound up being the eventual game-winner.
Colorado took a 2-0 lead 12:25 into the first as Duchene beat the stick of Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Colorado outshot Columbus 14-11 in the first.
Columbus had the better of the play in the second period and outshot Colorado 12-6. Despite playing their best period on the two-game road trip, the Blue Jackets had nothing to show for the performance.
Colorado fired back with a pair of goals in the third period. John Mitchell found Bobrovsky’s five hole 4:38 into the third. Duchene’s goal came as he skated around Nikita Nikitin and fired a shot through Bobrovsky’s five hole with just 1:18 remaining in the contest.
Columbus’ power play struggled once again as the Blue Jackets went 0-for-6.
Despite being outskated by the Avs, the Blue Jackets managed to outshoot their opponent by a 33-28 margin but the quality of chances were not enough to beat Colorado goalie Seymon Varlamov. One positive for Columbus was the Blue Jackets were a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill on the evening.
Thankfully for Columbus, the Blue Jackets have seven of their next eight games at home. The bad news is undefeated Chicago Blackhawks will be the Blue Jackets’ opponent Saturday evening.