SHOTS ON GOAL
The team that drove Freddy Norrena out of Columbus last year again was able to defeat the Jackets with another mediocre performance. Sure, the Jackets took 40 million shots on goal compared to the handful that New York took, but once the first period ended, you just knew it was over for Columbus. It was over because the Jackets couldn’t take a shot from within the hash marks or they decided to pass the puck when a shot was in order. Dwayne Roloson probably didn’t even break a sweat last night with that win. But that’s our Jackets, and it’s going to be like this all season. “Win and you’re in” is the new guideline for the goalies, but the whole team should understand that it applies to them. Because two point wins are going to get them into the playoffs, not the single loser points and praying for a Nashville/Detroit/St. Louis loss.
RJ Umberger scored his signature goal, a shot from less than five feet away that may have hit a skate on the way to the net. But when your team focuses on defense first and second, you aren’t going to get many goals, even against the Islanders. The team needs to score, to take pressure away from Mason and Garon, to make the opposition work, and to better utilize the offensive weapons that it has.
I don’t know what it will take to force changes in the team’s play. It should be apparent to the coaches that their ways are not working and change is in order. The team is not skilled enough to shut down the rest of the NHL and it certainly has trouble mounting any kind of rally. “Win and you’re in” Jackets.