The Columbus Blue Jackets continued to watch their 2013 season go from bad to worse on Saturday night, as they wasted a solid offensive effort and a decent performance in net from Steve Mason, falling to the Phoenix Coyotes 5-3. The Blue Jackets have now lost five of their last six games and have just four wins on the season.
Mason was making his first start since a 25-save performance Monday in a big win over the San Jose Sharks. Columbus headed into the third period with the score tied at 3-3 but two goals from Martin Hanzal gave the Coyotes a lead they would hang on to. Mason finished the game with 30 saves. The Blue Jackets got goals from unlikely sources, as Jared Boll, Matt Calvert and Derek MacKenzie all scored. A lack of offensive star power, a young defense and two inconsistent goaltenders continue to doom this Columbus team.
The Blue Jackets rank 28th in the league in goals scored per game, so in a game like last night when they score an above-average amount of goals, taking the loss hurts even more. The Blue Jackets also have one of the league’s worst marks in goals against as Mason and Sergei Bobrovsky continue to struggle. Failure to convert on the power play continues to hold the team back (0-for-7 in last two games) while a respectable penalty kill remains one of the few bright spots for this team.
No one expected the Blue Jackets to be playoff contenders this season, but losing five out of six games should be a major cause for concern for a rebuilding team. Wins over the Detroit Red Wings and Sharks showed everything good about this Columbus team, but highlights like those have been few and far between.