Dubinsky: Blue Jackets might not be in playoff picture, but, ‘We just have to play harder’

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Another year and another occasion in which the Columbus Blue Jackets will miss the playoffs, barring a miraculous turn of events in the final weeks of this NHL regular season.

The Blue Jackets, who earlier this season fired Todd Richards as coach and hired John Tortorella as his replacement and then later traded center Ryan Johansen to Nashville, lost 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. Columbus sits only ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference basement.

Afterward, Tortorella said he thought this was a “lousy game” and that it “stunk,” as per Sportsnet.

That’s losses in three straight for the Blue Jackets and losses in four of their last six. It seems the problem Thursday wasn’t so much the result, but the effort against Detroit.

“Listen, I know we’re not going to make the playoffs,” said Brandon Dubinsky, as per the Columbus Dispatch. “But we have a lot of pride in here. I have a lot of pride myself. We just have to play harder. We didn’t play hard enough.

“It shouldn’t be hard. We make millions of dollars to play hockey. It’s an amazing job, an amazing life, an amazing blessing. It’s your job. I don’t care where you are (in the standings) or what time of year it is, your job is to play your role the best you can and nothing else.”