The Columbus Blue Jackets walked into Little Caesars Arena on Saturday with an opportunity to get themselves closer to the playoff line in the Central Division.
They left the Motor City further from the playoff picture and closer to the reality of an incredibly disappointing, perplexing season that’s slowly winding to a close.
Here are three things from the series finale in Detroit.
AN(OTHER) HORRIFIC START
What is it with the Blue Jackets and starting games even remotely on time?
If Saturday’s disastrous first period was setting the bar, they barely cleared it on Sunday. Once again, the Red Wings were all over them; the Blue Jackets had trouble with simple plays and simple exits, which have a way of compounding themselves. The result was another early deficit, another behind-the-eight-ball opening period, and you could see the doubt creep into their game.
The Blue Jackets had three shots in the first period against Calvin Pickard. Yes, the same guy who made his first appearance in nearly two years the day before. He must have thought this was a joke–there’s no way the Blue Jackets could just coast like that, right?
They were lucky to get out of the period down only 1-0, considering how poorly they played and the lack of energy or “give” that they demonstrated. It got slightly better in the second period, but “slightly better” isn’t anywhere near good enough.
Without Elvis Merzlikins, would the…