Special Teams Continue to Let the Blue Jackets Down

By Coby Maeir on October 26, 2022 at 1:45 pm
Kent Johnson
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

It's not a good thing to have scored more short-handed goals than power-play goals.

But that's exactly what the Blue Jackets have done just seven games into the season. 

The Jackets have scored one short-handed goal in 44:42 of penalty-kill time and have yet to score a goal in 34:17 of power-play time. They are 0/20 on the man advantage and are the only team in the NHL that has not scored a power-play goal.

Tuesday night's 6-3 to the Arizona Coyotes, a team in an all-out rebuild, exploited that. 

While the Blue Jackets dominated at 5v5 with a 2.26-0.89 advantage in expected goals per naturalstattrick.com, they went 0/5 on the power play while Arizona converted on two of its six power plays. 

The Blue Jackets haven't been bad at 5v5 this year. They're in the middle. Per naturalstattrick.com, the Jackets rank 17th in 5v5 expected goals percentage (xGF%), which is the percentage of expected goals that a team scores (ex. 50% means the team scores as many xG as it allows). The Jackets are at 48.58%, one slot below the Colorado Avalanche, who won the Stanley Cup last year. 

In terms of the penalty kill, that hasn't been bad either, as it ranks 11th in the league. But, when the power play fails to score, the penalty kill has to be perfect, too. And that is impossible in a league with so many skilled players. 

With that being said, it is mind-boggling how the Jackets have gone seven games without scoring a power-play goal given the skill they have on their top power-play unit. Johnny Gaudreau is an elite passer, Patrik Laine has an elite shot (yes I know that was his first game back but they had five chances to score on the power play), Zach Werenski has scored 10-plus goals in five seasons, etc. 

If the Jackets' power play doesn't start to find the back of the net soon, it's going to be a long season in Columbus. 

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