Heading into game four at Nationwide Arena with a 2-1 series lead, the Jackets had a golden opportunity to take control of the series, however, they took way too many penalties, they couldn’t finish on their own chances and didn’t win enough in the faceoff circle.
Winning games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs often times comes down to doing all of the little things right. The Jackets weren’t able to do that in game 4 and it sets up a HUGE game five back in Boston.
In game four, the Jackets handed the Bruins six man advantages. That is as many as the Lightning had in the first round total! Patrice Bergeron took it upon himself to light the lamp twice on those power plays.
We’ve kind of prided ourselves on being disciplined and that’s the most disappointing part, Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella said. Their top guys score some goals on the power play. We gave them a chance to get going now by just sitting in the box too much.
Jackets forward Cam Atkinson agreed with his coach.
It’s a special-teams series. Whoever has the hotter power play that night, it seems they end up winning. I think that we kicked ourselves in the foot. It wasn’t anything that they were doing. It was our problem.
It may or may not have been of the Jackets’ own doing, but one thing is for sure, the experienced Bruins won a game they had to win and they did it on the road. If the Jackets want to reach the eastern conference finals, they will have to do the same.
3 Keys to the game
- Score first. The Jackets netted the first goal in three of the four contests against Tamp Bay, but have managed the feat just once in four games against the Bruins. When playing a game as important as game five on the road against an experienced team, scoring first can calm nerves and allow the team to relax a little.
- Stay out of the box. Although the Columbus penalty kill created some good chances in game four, the amount of penalties taken was too much to overcome. The CBJ can not provide a team of Boston’s talent with six power plays. That can’t continue and must end.
- Win more faceoffs. The Jackets have been awful in the faceoff circle since game one of the series when they won 48 percent of the draws. Since game one, the Jackets have not won more 42 percent of faceoffs in any given game.
You may have noticed that my three keys to the game go hand-in-hand. If the Jackets can win more faceoffs, they should be able to control the puck more. Which should create more offensive zone time and create some scoring chances. Also by controlling the puck more, it should decrease the number of times they are vulnerable to taking a penalty. Win faceoffs, score first and stay out of the box, boys!
Tonight’s game five in Boston will be fun, intense and an emotional roller coaster. Do your best to enjoy it!