Blue Jackets' Penalty is Starting to Show Out After Slow Start to Season

By Chris Pennington on November 27, 2019 at 1:45 pm
Zach Werenski
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Last season for the Columbus Blue Jackets, their power play struggled mightily. Thankfully, they had the second-best penalty kill in the league (85.0% rate) to help cushion the blow.

This season, the same power play struggles continued early on, but there was no strong penalty kill as a backup.

Through 13 games, the penalty kill was only running at a 68% efficiency rate, which was mostly last in the league during that span. 

The last ten games, however, when the team has started to get their legs under them again (going 5-2-1 in their last eight), the Blue Jackets have killed off 21 of 23 attempts for a 91% rate, bumping their overall percentage up to 80.3, and back into the top-20 in the league.

Though they just have one short-handed goal on the season so far, they are getting back to their roots of a year ago of being a menace on the kill.

They are applying consistent pressure rather than sitting on their heels, taking away passing lanes, blocking shots and limiting high-danger chances (ranked top-12 in the league in high-danger scoring chances against). 

The power play is starting to click, too - which is good timing with the penalty kill revving up. The Blue Jackets are hovering around the .500 mark, and to start to take their place in the top of the Metropolitan Division, they'll need to keep their special teams rolling.

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