One: Bad decisions and poor puck management found them chasing the game less than 10 minutes in, down 3-0. They were hesitant and not very crisp with their passing, which allowed the Avalanche to transition through the neutral zone much better than the Blue did. Basically, it was the start that Todd Richards is always afraid of.
Two: Their best line through the first 40 minutes was their top line of Foligno, Johansen and Atkinson. They were creating many chances, but no puck luck was falling their way. With Bobrovsky switched for McElhinney, ostensibly to provide a spark, they outshot the Avalanche but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Three: Despite the Blue Jackets out-shooting and out-chancing the Avalanche, it doesn’t matter if you can’t put the puck in the back of the net. They got behind the game in the first few minutes of the first and were chasing the rest of the way. The fact that they were shutout at home stings.