The Jackets needed this one. They had such an advantage in the series winning the first two games on the road and gave it all away losing both games at Nationwide. They looked tired, they looked slow, they couldn’t get anything going. Washington did a very good job of bottling up the Jackets and not letting them get any chances. This series heads back to Washington tied 2-2.
Here are five thoughts from the loss:
Tom friggen Wilson
Of all the players to score for Washington it had to be Tom Wilson. Wilson might be the most hated player on the Capitals. He’s terrorized the Jackets physically. It’s one thing to be a physical presence but Wilson regularly takes it too far and crosses the line. At times this can favour the opposition he takes penalties and gives team’s chances on the power play. Usually you are ok playing against these players as they can’t beat you offensively. Wilson however has started scoring making him even more maddening. We saw both sides of Wilson in the first period of this game. He opened the scoring and then laid a huge hit on Ian Cole, for which he received a two minute minor.
John Tortorella tried something new in Game 4. He opted to keep Artemi Panarin away from Alexander Ovechkin, and entrusted his fourth line of Brandon Dubinsky, Matt Calvert, and Josh Anderson to shutdown Ovi. That lasted for about a period, before Torts went back to the Panarin line. Panarin had a 60% Corsi against Ovi, so in that regard it worked but Panrin wasn’t able to generate any offense while Ovi had a goal and an assist.
What's up with Werenski?
Something is up with the Jackets top pair defencemen. He had a 45.19% Corsi entering this game, and while he was better tonight at 56.10%, he didn't look like it. This is not the same Zach Werenski we saw in the season. He looks tired and overall just isn’t as sharp as he normally does. He’s still pinching and joining the offense but is slow getting back and lacked that explosiveness we are accustomed to seeing. Seth Jones has had even worse numbers than Werenski but he at least looks like himself. Werenski is clearly battling some type of injury. It might be time to switch up the defensive pairs.
Boone Jenner was someone the Jackets were relying on bring secondary scoring. He had a solid first game, but without Alexander Wennberg he did not have a good game 2 or 3. He was much better in Game 4. He had a 50% Corsi, led the team with four shots and scored the lone goal.
Bob did everything he could to keep the Jackets in this game and give them a chance. His .906 save percentage doesn’t look great but don’t let that fool you. Without Bob the Jackets are not even close in this game. He made some huge saves when the team in front of him was not playing well. His best save of the night once again came on an Ovechkin breakaway.