Columbus Blue Jackets Scoring Opportunities Dried Up in Game Four

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 19: Devante Smith-Pelly
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 19: Devante Smith-Pelly /

The Columbus Blue Jackets didn’t create any viable scoring opportunities in their loss in game four.

To say it was a rough night offensively for the Columbus Blue Jackets would be an understatement. In their 4-1 game four loss to the Washington Capitals the CBJ never came close to testing Braden Holtby and never manufactured significant scoring opportunities.

The first period was the worst period in the series for the Jackets. They looked like they didn’t show up at all to play. They opened with a power play opportunity less than an minute into the game and failed to even look like an NHL team. They looked lost, again, on the man advantage and failed to capitalize on an early opportunity.

Four minutes later they allowed an Tom Wilson goal and didn’t do anything to show any fight after getting behind 1-0. They only recorded seven shots on Holtby, a series low for a period. Later in the first they had another power play opportunity that was quickly negated by an uncharacteristic Artemi Panarin hooking penalty. In his ten previous playoff games he had a total of two penalty minutes. Tonight, he took two penalties, one that led to the game winning goal.

If you’re expecting better news out of the second period than you came to the wrong game. The Columbus Blue Jackets offense continued to struggle in the second frame only registering eight shots on net. They never entered the zone effectively and the passing was terrible. The puck never went tape to tape the entire night for the Jackets.

The Capitals did play well but not at an unbeatable defensive level. The Jackets should, and could have countered better and created more sustainable offensive chances.

The Jackets lone goal came off of a solid deflection by Boone Jenner off a Josh Anderson shot in the third period.

The goal drew the game to a two goal deficit but there was never any real chance the Jackets were coming back. They ended the game with a total of 24 shots and were 0-3 on the power play.

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Wennberg Injury Hurting CBJ

This Columbus Blue Jackets team is really missing Alexander Wennberg right now. Without him, the lines have been thrown in flux and there is no sustainable offensive pressure coming from any line other than the top line. In game four the Caps shut down the top line of Panarin, PLD, and Cam and forced the second, third, and non existant fourth line to beat them. Which they clearly couldn’t.

Wennberg returning would give the Jackets a scoring second and third lines by allowing Foligno to center a third line of Oliver Bjorkstrand and Anderson. That line just clicks as does the Vanek – Wennberg -Jenner line.

Although at this point any line with Jenner is looking halfway decent. Boone has arguable been the  best Jacket over the last two games.

Next: Comparing Games 1&2 with 3&4

The offense has to come alive in game five and I believe it will. They just hit a cold stretch at home and perhaps the pressure at home was too much. The Jackets look to rectify the offensive struggles in game five on Saturday.