Columbus Blue Jackets Miss Power Play Opportunity

WINNIPEG, MB - OCTOBER 17: Andrew Copp
WINNIPEG, MB - OCTOBER 17: Andrew Copp /

The Columbus Blue Jackets balked at a chance to improve the power play last night because hockey is too nice.

The Columbus Blue Jackets looked great in their 5-2 win in Manitoba last night. They checked well, fired a plethora of shots on Steve Mason and played clean, only drawing one penalty.

But they went 0-3 on the man advantage. Technically. They really went 0-2 since a penalty in the third period was almost immediately turned into a 4-4 when Pierre-Luc Dubois was called for hooking.

The Winnipeg game put the Jackets power play at 1/16 and no goals since their first power play in the first game of the year. I’ve harped on how the Jackets need to get this turned around and how time and chances will be the only cure. It was one of the things on the Columbus Blue Jackets to-do list for week three.

Related Story: CBJ To-Do List for Week 3

If you’re not getting better…

Yet late in the game the Jackets got a chance to go on only their second man advantage situation of the game. The score was 5-1 and there was less than four minutes remaining.

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Firmly in the drivers seat, Coach John Tortorella decided to put out the fourth line and Jack Johnson and David Savard instead of the normal power play unit. The Jackets didn’t generate any offense (not that they needed to) and were scored on shorthanded.

They still won 5-2 and everything is fine.

Except the left a prime opportunity to get the first unit some more game speed reps on the man advantage. You can’t replicate game speed ever in practice. It’s why playing time for backups is important in blowouts.

But only if the starters are on top of their game. Which this power play unit certainly is not. Alas we saw Lukas Sedlak and company go out and meander around the ice. No one got better and the power play is still not where it needs to be.

All of this was done because it would have been “running up the score” if the Jackets would have put Panarin on the ice. It would have been unsportsmanlike to put Cam Atkinson out there in the hopes he meshes better with the PP1 unit.

Next: Where does Boone play when he returns?

The Columbus Blue Jackets had a chance to get better late in the game. But instead chose to not play the top line against another professional hockey franchise who would have got over their feelings being hurt.