October 22, 2011
In case you were wondering when the Columbus Blue Jackets would hit rock bottom during their early-season catastrophe, the self-inflicted squandering of a lead against the lowly Ottawa Senators in the last minute of the third period can safely be called rock bottom.
Watch Jason Spezza(notes) and Milan Michalek(notes) turn a 3-2 Columbus lead into a 4-3 Columbus loss on Saturday night, dropping the Jackets to 0-7-1 on the season and keeping them at a single point in the Western Conference standings.
With David Runblad in the box for hooking late in the third, Alfredsson stole the puck and created a shorthanded scoring chance on a partial breakaway. Defenseman Kris Russell(notes) was whistled for tripping Alfredsson at 18:36 of the third period, making it 4-on-4 for 53 seconds until an Ottawa power play.
Spezza's wrister beat Mason at 19:24 from Michalek and Erik Karlsson(notes). With the Senators now on the power play, Alfredsson had another takeaway in the offensive zone as he stripped Fedor Tyutin(notes), and soon after Michalek scored on a tip in front of Mason from Sergei Gonchar(notes) and Spezza for the 4-3 win. (Mason, by the way, gave Columbus a chance to win by playing his best game of the season. Don't hang this on him.)
This was an absolute horror show for the Jackets. The scent of victory was in the air. They had the Sens on their heels. They were on a powerplay to essentially end the game. All it took was one turnover and an inability to pot an easy open net goal, and the Jackets are still winless. There's nothing left to say.
The bad news: Every single solitary other thing about the 2011-12 Columbus Blue Jackets, who are unequivocally the biggest embarrassment in the NHL this season.