Sigh. I noted in my post after the Carolina game that the Jackets were in a mirror image of where they were a couple weeks ago when they dropped games against Dallas and St. Louis after a relative hot streak. I didn’t intend for that to be encouragement for them to do it again, but they did drop yet another must-win against the Stars last night.
I realize that they came away with a point from the game. They’re still clinging to a playoff spot by the skin of their teeth. And really, they looked pretty good much of the night. The forwards were getting the chances, especially late in the third and in OT, but they just weren’t able to finish them.
But ya gotta finish those chances, and the Jackets need to put away more of these games against the middle ranks of the Western Conference. It’s all fine and good to beat up on the ‘Canes or upset the Red Wings — two points are two points, and I always want to see my team win. But in a tight playoff race — ten points separate fifth and fifteenth in the West — not being able to put away the teams fighting for the same #8 spot is going to come back to haunt the Jackets in April, I fear. Whether it means missing the playoffs altogether yet again, or squeaking in and getting a date with the Wings or Sharks.
I recognize that these are growing pains that every team goes through. It is rather amazing to be sitting here in February and actually worrying about the Jackets playoff seeding, and really believing they have a chance at the postseason. But a lot of frustration comes along with that, and a lot of times it feels like one step forward, two steps back.
As always, hoping for better tomorrow against the Blues. Plan to take this one in live, as my game attendance has been really slack this season for various reasons, and I’ll be out of town most of the next two weeks (although I am going to see the ‘Yotes and Blues in St. Louis next week).