Not ‘even close’ — Torts laments Blue Jackets loss

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A very deflated-sounding John Tortorella met briefly with reporters last night in Columbus, unable to explain his team’s performance in a 6-3 loss to the Boston Bruins.

The Blue Jackets had actually led the Bruins 2-0 after the first period, but Tortorella didn’t even like that part.

“We weren’t good in the first period, either,” he said. “Don’t let the score fool you. We weren’t good through the game. Tentative, sloppy. You can use a lot of different words, for right on through. No matter what the score was.”

It was plays like this that cost the Jackets:

A nice play, sure, by Brad Marchand to pick off the pass from Zach Werenski to Seth Jones, but sloppy all the same from the Jackets.

Though Tortorella refused to pin the loss on the young pairing of Werenski and Jones, the duo definitely did look out of sorts at times.

“Don’t put it on the young defense,” Tortorella said. “Guys that have played in this league so long … I’m not going to break it down, but right on through the game, I don’t think we were even close.”

Veteran center Brandon Dubinsky finished a career-worst minus-5, so Tortorella was right that it wasn’t just the young guys that let the line of Marchand, David Backes and David Pastrnak run wild.

For Tortorella, it must’ve been especially vexing that the Bruins didn’t even have Patrice Bergeron in the lineup. The B’s also had two rookie defensemen, Brandon Carlo and Rob O’Gara, making their NHL debuts.

“I don’t have an answer for you,” Tortorella said. “Obviously, we have to find it. … Practice tomorrow, we’ll go to work.”

The Jackets host San Jose and Chicago next, before hitting the road for games against Dallas, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Anaheim.

So not an easy start to the season, and already one opportunity blown.