It was Military Appreciation Night at Nationwide Arena on Saturday, with members of the armed services receiving well-earned recognition. In the spirt of the evening, the Blue Jackets took no prisoners and squelched a five-game skid.

Losing streaks are agonizing for all concerned -- fans, coaches, players, owners. Thousands of head coaches and GM's emerge, calling for trades, firings, new systems, old systems -- basically anything other than what currently exists. Such has been the life in Blue Jackets Nation for the better part of the past two weeks, as the club has found a dizzying variety of ways to lose. Tonight, however, the Blue Jackets ended the agony in the best way possible -- with a definitive 5 - 2 win over a divisional opponent. It was a game where the performance grew better as the game wore on, and fans glimpsed what can be , even with a short-handed roster of forwards.

Strange Start -- Decent Result

After the venting done by Todd Richards and Brandon Dubinsky in the wake of the loss to the Rangers, a different look and attitude was expected, and the Blue Jackets did not disappoint. Richards massaged the lines, with Dubinsky-Johansen-Atkinson taking the top slot, and Umberger-Anisimov-Gaborik on the second line. The club came out skating hard, creating space and opportunity. That pressure led to a power play at the 6:57 mark, when Nabokov was called for tripping a hard-charging Gaborik. (A later trip of Chaput went undetected). Dubinsky set the tone by giving the Blue Jackets their first lead since the Anaheim game, bouncing the puck off the right post, into Evgeni Nabokov's leg, and just across the line. It was the first "puck luck" the club had seen for ages, and it came at an opportune time.

The Jackets could not take advantage of their strong skating and creating of space, due to a familiar old nemesis -- the fear of shooting. Despite what visually looked like a strong period, the Jackets managed only two shots on goal, compared to nine for the Islanders. There were simply too many instances of passing up chances, looking for the "pretty"play, rather than the effective one. The Blue Jackets had seen how that can bite you in the course of the last five games, and the same held true this night.

The Blue Jackets played 17 decent minutes in the first period, but the last three were awful. Although the club was a solid 2-for-4 on the power play overall, they made a travesty of the extra man situation they were given at the 16:14 mark. Nonetheless, the end of the period was imminent, and it seemed a 1 - 0 lead was assured. However, nothing is assured these days. R.J. Umberger coughed up the puck along the boards, and the Islanders crafted an odd-man rush. With traffic in front, Frans Nielsen's wrister found its way through the seas of bodies -- and Sergei Bobrovsky's legs -- to trickle across the line with just 35 seconds left in the frame. You could almost hear the air leave the crowd, and with the dreaded second period looming, optimism was not running rampant among the crowd.