The Blue Jackets' Power Play and Discipline Saw a Drop-Off in Game 1

By Jacob Nitzberg on April 27, 2019 at 11:53 am
Apr 25, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky (17) clears the puck away from goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) against the Boston Bruins during the first period in game one of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The tables turned in Game 1.

In their series sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Columbus Blue Jackets' special teams dominated. 

But Thursday night in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins, the Blue Jackets' power play was not up to speed. They went 0-for-4 on the man advantage, and even allowed a shorthanded goal. The unit looked lost for most of the night, and it struggled to generate chances, let alone enter the zone cleanly and set up an attack.

On four power plays, the Blue Jackets generated three shots on goal. That won't cut it, and there's no way around it.

However, the penalty kill was great. They stopped all four Boston power plays, which is quite an impressive feat. The problem that lies within this statistic is that the Blue Jackets took four penalties in Game 1 — they took six in their four games against the Lightning. 

Although one or more of those penalties were a little bit questionable (see: Boone Jenner "holding" back the largest player in the NHL, Zdeno Chara), the discipline has to be improved.

If the Blue Jackets continue to give Boston power play chances, the Bruins will eventually start converting.

Special teams can often decide a playoff series. If each game is as tightly contested as Game 1, the Blue Jackets' power play, penalty kill, and discipline will go a long way into determining who moves on to the Eastern Conference Final.