Three Things: Blue Jackets Special Teams Reach New Low Against Kings

By Kyle Morrison on November 4, 2018 at 11:15 am
Zach Werenski skates with the puck against the Los Angeles Kings

USA Today – Gary A Vasquez

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That extra hour of post daylight savings sleep couldn’t have come at a better time. Simply put, last night’s Columbus Blue Jackets game was not worth staying up late for. 

A Zach Werenski goal cut the Los Angeles Kings lead to just one early in the third period, but that hope was short-lived, and the Blue Jackets fell 4-1. Here are there three key takeaways from last night.

The Power Play Cannot Score

At this point, the above header could probably be copied and pasted in every article on this website. The Blue Jackets power play has been atrocious for the better part of two years now. Adjustments have been made both in scheme and personnel, but nothing seems to be working.

Last night’s game saw the Blue Jackets go 0-for-5 on the man advantage for the second time in the last three games, with the other one being their loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Like Detroit, the Kings are near the bottom of the standings – and the type of team that the Blue Jackets cannot afford to lose to if they want to make the playoffs again.

For those keeping count, Columbus has now gone four games in a row without a power play goal despite 14 (!) opportunities. 

Two Shorthanded Goals Against! 

Well, at least someone is scoring goals while the Blue Jackets are on the power play. 

Both Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown scored shorthanded goals for the Kings last night, stretching the Kings’ lead to three goals and burying any hope of a Columbus comeback. Both of those came on the same power play, and Brown’s goal came on a penalty shot thanks to a hook by Ryan Murray. 

A power play that can’t score goals is frustrating. One that also gives up shorthanded goals is a disaster. Columbus has given up three shorthanded goals – all in the last week – which is tied for the most in the NHL this season. Simply put, special teams are sinking the Columbus Blue Jackets right now – as they did last year, and in their playoff series against the Washington Capitals. 

Not All On The Coaches 

While it’s hard to see the Blue Jackets’ struggles on special teams as anything but a coaching issue at this point, given that it’s been an issue for so long, Nick Foligno was blunt in saying that the players should shoulder the blame – and the burden of fixing it. 

Foligno was adamant that the players needed to buy in and give more effort, as well. 

"You’re getting every other team’s best when you’re a good team – we’ve crossed that bridge now,” Foligno said. “Teams know we’re a good team, so you’re getting a team’s best every time you play them, but we’re not giving teams our best. 

"What do you expect the result to be?”

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