Todd Richards has spoken for the last two weeks about the team needing to find more consistency in its game, to avoid the bad plays and mental lapses in third periods that have turned leads into deficits and left the Blue Jackets on the losing end on too many occasions.
The return of Boone Jenner and Matt Calvert was expected to be a big boost to the Columbus lineup, with players and coaches noting the optimism in the room and that they had one of their best practices on Monday.
By the end of Tuesday night, after a 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes that everyone in the room labeled disappointing, a frustrated Nick Foligno
made no effort to put a spin on the team’s showing.
Rather, he went a step further to describe the Jackets’ losing streak that has reached six games.
“I don’t think we’re any more injured than any other team right now," Foligno said. "We just got two guys back and I’m so tired of that excuse. It’s gone. It’s six games into a losing streak and that excuse has sailed for me.
“I’m tired of losing, I’m tired of this 'Jekyll and Hyde' hockey that we’re playing. I want to see us being more consistent and start doing the little things because I guarantee you if we do that, we’ll start winning more games.”
Foligno said the Jackets played hectic hockey when at their best, sending pucks towards the net and creating havoc in front. That’s not what they did against the Hurricanes, firing only 19 shots during the game and only 12 through the first two periods. Much of their third period offense came in a flurry at the end of the third period following the second of Foligno’s two goals with the team pushing to tie.
"There’s no reason you can’t get more shots and I’m sure it’s something that will be talked about,” said Foligno.
He’s likely right, as Richards said he was disappointed on many different levels, not only with his teams play but also with their approach.
“Some guys are engaged, and you can see it. Other guys are not engaged. They’re waiting for something to happen,” said Richards.
“We were a reactionary team. That’s the way we played the whole game. We reacted to what was going on in the game, what they were doing, the score, and referees. Emotions aside, for me, it’s extremely disappointing.”