As fortifications go, not exactly Helm’s Deep. Inside that parcel of free-roaming land passing for a defensive zone, they’re looser than a floozy’s morals.

“We give up too many ... tap-ins, basically,’’ murmurred defenceman Mark Giordano. “It’s easy for them to score those goals, if you look at them. Odd-man rushes and turnovers. We’re not giving up huge scoring chances, number-wise.

“But the quality is ...”

24-karat. 100 proof. 100 per cent concentrate.

As pure as it gets.

An eight-game home-ice win streak creaked, groaned and ultimately collapsed under the unbearable strain of more vaudeville slapstick Friday night. Twenty-one recorded giveaways in a wildly sloppy 6-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday at the Scotiabank Saddledome. More dirty 2-on-1 tagteams than Eddie (Ring-A-Ding-Dong-Dandy) Whalen used to call on Stampede Wrestling.

Gird yourselves, people. The closing month of what has already been a tempestuous season - and promises to bring even more upheaval by the April 3rd trade deadline - is going to test personal pain thresholds.