The Columbus Blue Jackets got off to a slow start against Arizona and it snowballed from there in 4-1 loss to the Coyotes.
“You’d think we’d be ready to play,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards remarked, per Rob Mixer. “It’s part of being a professional. We had some guys that were, but not enough.”
Defenseman James Wisniewski echoed his coach’s comments in his own postgame presser.
“I don’t know what our deal is,” he said, according to the team’s Twitter feed. “We weren’t ready to start the game, for whatever reason.”
That being said, Wisniewski did give Columbus an opportunity to overcome its sluggish start by beating Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith early in the second period to tie the game at one. The 30-year-old blueliner took an interference penalty shortly after that though and Arizona promptly regained the lead.
Shane Doan also scored with the man advantage at 5:19 of the second period to give Arizona some breathing room.
Columbus has now lost eight of its last 11 games. Before that slump began the Blue Jackets still had a shot of making the playoffs, but now it would take a truly spectacular run for them to avoid elimination.