The pattern that has emerged as of late called for a loss and the Columbus Blue Jackets players had the choice to deviate from it. Unfortunately, that did not happen tonight. The Boston Bruins are a big team and they used their size to their advantage.
One of the differences in play that I noticed tonight is that when the Blue Jackets are bringing the puck down the ice, the Bruins are on them from the start. They don’t wait for them to get into their zone and then defend. Also to the Blue Jacket’s detriment is the “dump and chase” method. 9 times out of 10 they don’t carry the puck into the offensive zone, which means they are battling in the corners and along the wall more often than they should. When they do that, there is no defense to keep the puck in the offensive zone and the other team ends up with the puck.
During the first period, the Blue Jackets only recorded two shots on goal. Two. They’re never going to win games if they only shoot twice in a period. I thought the energy looked great in the first few minutes, right up until Patrice Bergeron scored the first goal of the game. It’s almost as if they gave up immediately after. Just because the Bruins scored first, doesn’t mean they’re going to win. Unfortunately, the Bruins dominated the Blue Jackets for the rest of the period, forcing turnovers and penalties. Ryan Johansen was called for hooking, which directly led to the second Boston goal.
While there were no goals scored in the second period, that doesn’t mean it was a good period. The penalties taken by the Jackets were careless. Matt Calvert called for unsportsman-like conduct, Fedor Tyutin called for hooking, Dalton Prout called for fighting, Mark Letestu called for hooking, Nick Foligno called for unsportsman-like conduct and a 10 minute misconduct. They also only shot the puck 7 times, which is 2 less than the Bruins had in the first period alone! There were also three fights in the period: Brad Marchand and Matt Calvert, Dalton Prout and Milan Lucic, and Nick Foligno (kinda).
Dennis Seidenberg laid a huge hit on Nick Foligno that should have been at least a minor penalty, if not a major one. He deliberately stopped himself, planted his feet, and launched his shoulder into Foligno’s head. Nothing was called, and Nick didn’t like that. He went after Seidenberg and didn’t stop when the officials intervened, which resulted in the 10 minute misconduct penalty.
The third period had one shining moment – Ryan Johansen’s goal. That was it. Boston kept their hands all over the puck and really showed why they are one of the best teams in the league. (They are the ones that knocked the Pittsburgh Penguins out of the playoffs last year) Mark Letestu was called for a faceoff violation (stupid), and the Blue Jackets barely held the Bruins off. Ryan Johansen somehow found the back of the net through the heavy forechecking and physicality of the Bruins. Boone Jenner had multiple careless penalties against the Edmonton Oilers last night, and continued that tonight with a hooking call.
What a frustrating loss for the Blue Jackets. Hopefully they get a good 2 days off and come back fighting on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightening at home. If the pattern continues, they are due for a win.