"Frustrating replaced embarrassing. Missed opportunities were substituted for poor effort. A tough start to the third period was the talk rather than a brutal start to the game.
The words to describe the Blue Jackets' performance last night in the United Center were kinder and gentler from their troubled coach and players. But they still represent the language of losing.
And the Jackets are becoming quite fluent in that tongue.
The Chicago Blackhawks scored three times in the third period, including two power-play goals, on the way to a 4-1 win. The Jackets played two solid periods, but it wasn't nearly enough to prevent their sixth loss in the past seven games.
The Jackets' score came from a Derick Brassard power-play goal after the Blackhawks had taken a 4-0 lead.
"You can't be close in this league," Jackets coach Scott Arniel said. "When it's a 1-0 game, we had to find a way to get that evened up when they gave us opportunities.
"We're obviously fragile again. We will have to work our way out of it."
Can this club, as currently constructed, dig out from the 3-9-3 slump it's been in since Thanksgiving?
The NHL holiday roster freeze ended at midnight last night and there are more than a few fans imploring general manager Scott Howson to upgrade the roster before it's too late. Faced with a similar situation a season ago, Howson added Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina from the Washington Capitals for Jason Chimera."
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