In last nights' 4-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, the Columbus Blue Jackets scored three power play goals.
No, you did not misread that.
The Blue Jacket power play, anemic since the latter parts of the 2016-17 season, has appeared to gain life under new special teams assistant coach, Paul MacLean.
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored one of those power play goals. Craftily cradling an Oliver Bjorkstrand rebound, Dubois fired a wrister past recovering Jets' goaltender, Laurent Brossoit.
After the game, Pierre-Luc Dubois commented on what's been working for the Blue Jackets' man-advantage unit.
"I thought the power play did a good job tonight, got goals," Dubois said on their success. "We're feeling comfortable moving the puck."
Dubois mentioned the mentality of the power play has changed, noting the confidence the unit has in itself. "Were getting on the ice thinking that we can score," he said. "We're just moving it, shooting it."
Dubios attributed the confidence and increased offensive input on the small changes in assignments made by MacLean. Dubois stressed that everyone has an assignment and players know both where they need to be and where others will be.
"We can make plays. We know where guys are," Dubois said.
While the power play goals are something for the Columbus club to hang their hats on the performance, the contest undoubtedly left a sour taste for the team. The Blue Jackets carried a 3-2 against a Jets' team that was down to only four defensemen, a situational opportunity the team wasted.
"It's just a little frustrating...I felt we could have pushed a bit more," Dubois said on allowing 2 goals to relinquish the lead.
"When they're down to 4 D's (defensemen), you have to push more," he added.
Dubois then chose to elaborate on how and why the team needs to "push" more in these advantageous, late-game situations.
"If we take the game in our hands and we push the pace and we play how we want to play instead of making sure that nothing happens, I think that we could break them even more," he said.
For a team that has struggled so much on the power play, it could be easy to assign a moral victory to Saturday nights' game. But moral victories do not yield points. Saturday's performance is a reminder for the team that while special teams are important, 5-on-5 play cannot be neglected.
For the teams' play off hopes to stay alive, the team will need to tighten up 5-on-5 play and continue to improve on the power play.
They've done the "impossible" now, in scoring three power play goals in a game, but they must find consistency every where else.