Carolina hung around for a while, but a four-goal third period blew the doors off for the Blue Jackets, who got some revenge for the 7-4 game back on New Year’s Day.
Following the loss, head coach Rod Brind’Amour, defenseman Tony DeAngelo and captain Jordan Staal spoke with media via Zoom.
Here is what they had to say:
On if this was rust or something more: There’s no excuse. We weren’t sharp. We weren’t going to be lights out. But that was not good. That was not a good effort by pretty much everybody. We haven’t had those. We haven’t had those, really ever. That was a poor effort. Give the other team credit. They stuck to their game plan. They were going to do it a certain way, the right way. We wanted to look for something else. I told you this before, I felt like we were going to be scrambly and rusty. I expected that, but that doesn’t affect how hard you’ve got to work. We didn’t come ready in that department, so that’s what you get.
On pulling Frederik Andersen for Jack LaFontaine: You were watching it. We were giving up breakaway after breakaway. I’m not going to leave Freddie in there to keep having that. I figured maybe we’d throw the kid in and we’d decide ‘oh, we better not give those up.’ That’s not what happened, unfortunately. I hate that we threw him in there for that, but we got his feet wet a little bit.
On what Columbus did well and differently: We know how they play. They play like we do. It’s two teams playing the same way. We were no good. I’ve got to take the blame. I should have done something differently than just the usual to get them ready. I needed to do something different with all of these practice days and days off to be sharper. We saw it coming. It was bad. It was bad, bad, bad. The good news is that we get to come back tomorrow and get better. Then we hopefully have a game Saturday here to hopefully redeem ourselves.
On the most effective way to turn the page on a game like this: To be honest, these games are easier to sometimes leave behind because we had no chance to win the game. It’s the games where you play better than the other team and lose, those are the ones that stick with you a lot harder. This one we had no chance to win the way we were playing. Everybody knows it. It’s not like we can sit there and say ‘well, we had 18 guys play really well.’ I think it was the other way around. I think we all know that. It’s a little easier to swallow sometimes when you get your butts handed to you.
On if he regrets throwing LaFontaine into that situation: No, I don’t regret it. It’s a good chance to get him in there to see how the pace is and everything. We weren’t winning the game, but we got him a little bit of ‘this is how fast it is.’ So no, I don’t regret that. It was just a matter of getting Freddie out of there.
On what he does differently in practice Friday: This will be easy tomorrow because I’ll have everybody’s attention. Trust me. I don’t need to say too much.
On where it went off the rails after maybe showing a little fight at the end of the first period: I don’t think we played well at all. I think you’re probably talking about one or two shifts in our game in the first, but we just didn’t have much the whole game. Even when we had a good shift, it was one followed up by one for Columbus, two for Columbus, three Columbus. It was sloppy.
On taking solace in the fact that this was the first real terrible game of the season: We’re not going to go into full panic mode about one game. I think we stunk tonight. We know how good of a team we are. We’ve just got to start showing it...We’ve got to get back to the way we can play...We’ve got to have 18 guys. We’ve got to be a whole group. We’ll get there.
On if Columbus did something different: You’ve got to give them credit. They played a good game.
On his game misconduct: It’s kind of ridiculous to get a 10-minute misconduct there. I didn’t really say that much to him. But I guess that’s what goes on nowadays. You can’t say anything without people getting upset.
*Note: There were some technical issues during DeAngelo’s availability that made parts inaudible.
On if this was a result of the schedule making it tough to get in a groove or on if this was just a one-off bad performance: Those both sound like great excuses, but we’ve got to be better. It definitely crept in these last few weeks. We’ve been on and off. Obviously the Philly game was tough. We had some average practices. We came out flat and stayed flat and continued to be flat. It was embarrassing. I feel bad for our goalies. I really feel bad for Jack, that’s my bad there. We’re going to play better in front of them next game.
On this being more not being crisp mentally than physically: It’s just not playing the way we’re supposed to play. Our D are supposed to be pinching, supposed to be on the walls making it hard for them to bring the puck out. Our forwards are supposed to be backing them up. We just didn’t do that tonight. It was pretty evident. We might have spent a few seconds in their zone thinking we were all fine and dandy, and then they make one little play and get a breakaway. It’s not our style. It’s obviously not our game. We’re going to learn from this. We’ve got a game coming up here quick, and we’ll have to get back at her.
On what the most effective way to turn the page on a game like this is: The best way is just to get back into it, which is what we’ve got here. A quick afternoon game coming up. We do have to get into a groove and start playing games. It’s been a frustrating last month, I think, but we’ll get into a groove, get some games under our belt and start playing Carolina Hurricanes’ hockey.