3 Things: The Penguins Continue to Dominate the Blue Jackets, The Defense Had Problems, and the Offense Didn't Create Enough

By Jacob Nitzberg on February 26, 2019 at 9:54 pm
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Chad Ruhwedel (2) checks Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Josh Anderson (77) during the second period at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

That definitely wasn't the start to the game that the Columbus Blue Jackets envisioned.

They ended the first period down 2-0, and it became 3-0 one minute and fifteen seconds into the second period. Despite a decent effort, the Blue Jackets weren't able to claw their way out of the hole they dug themselves, falling 5-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

In the last 12 games against the Penguins, the Blue Jackets are 1-11, which isn't exactly ideal.

Here are tonight's three things. 

Penguins Continue Their Mastery of the Blue Jackets

No matter what the Blue Jackets try to do, they just can't seem to solve the Penguins. Even tonight, with a capacity crowd at Nationwide Arena and the incredibly banged-up Penguins coming in with three starting defensemen out, including Kris Letang, Brian Dumoulin, and Olli Maatta, the Blue Jackets got straight up out-played. Columbus dropped their 7th straight game against the Penguins. This is a team that the Blue Jackets will have to figure out a way to beat if they want to make the playoffs. They have two more huge games against the Penguins next week.

Defensive Mistakes 

All night, the Blue Jackets struggled to get the puck out of their own zone and away from the Penguins. Sloppiness in your own zone is not a recipe for success when you're facing such a talented offensive team as the Penguins.

The pairing of Scott Harrington and Adam McQuaid had a very rough night. Harrington turned the puck over repeatedly, leading to two Penguins goals, and McQuaid got burned multiple times by the speed of the Penguins.

Sergei Bobrovsky also had a tough night. He let in a couple of soft goals that he'll want back, and he continues to have a tough going against the Penguins.

Chance Creation 

With all of the firepower that's been added to the Blue Jackets lineup recently, you'd expect an offense firing on all cylinders. While the recent additions of Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel may need time to gel, tonight's offensive showing wasn't great. The Blue Jackets only generated four high-danger scoring chances. The one that looms large is the 3-on-0 (!!) rush on the power play that wasn't converted. If you're not creating many opportunities, you have to bury the ones that you get, and the Blue Jackets didn't do that well enough tonight.

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