The Columbus Blue Jackets are not exactly going into the playoffs on a high note.
After dropping a 4-2 decision in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, the Blue Jackets have now lost six games in a row and eight of their past 10.
Their only wins during that stretch have come against teams currently on the outside of the playoffs (Buffalo and Philadelphia), while they have not actually beaten in a team in a playoff position since March 2 when they defeated the Minnesota Wild.
Since then they have gone 0-5-1 in their six games against teams headed to the playoffs during that stretch (they are also just 2-7-1 in their past 10 games against playoff teams, winning only one in regulation).
Sometimes too much can be made out of how a team finishes, especially in Columbus’ case where everything is already settled and they are currently playing without one of their top players (defenseman Zach Werenski), but it is still a bad time of year to be going through your worst stretch of hockey and struggling against the type of competition that is just right around the corner.
Said Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella after the game on Saturday (via Chuck Gormley), “I am not going to dissect my team because it’s so hard in these circumstances. It’s human nature.”
The circumstances, of course, are a team that is locked into its playoff position and first-round matchup and has little to play for to finish the season.
Tortorella said last night that his team’s change in attitude and the way it handles its business has been a huge factor in the turnaround this season, specifically their ability to take everything one day at a time and not looking back or forward. That mindset might be put to the test a little bit given these recent struggles.
Columbus wraps up its regular season on Sunday against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game that could potentially be a massive one for the Maple Leafs.