The Columbus Blue Jackets newfound defensive mindset was a missing component in their potential playoff toolbox.
The start of the NHL season was a scoreboard scorcher. Teams, including the Columbus Blue Jackets, were scoring almost an extra goal per game in the months of October and November.
Those high flying, scoreboard lighting games are a ton of fun for fans and players, especially when the Jackets are winning, but Columbus doesn’t have the high end scoring talent to consistently win games 5-4. And those games rarely exist in the playoffs.
That’s why the teams newfound defensive prowess is encouraging. Since the embarrassing 9-6 loss to the Calgary Flames, the Jackets have played more structured, defensive hockey. The Jackets are allowing 2.1 goals per game in that eight game stretch since the Calgary game. that includes their first shutout of the year agains the Vegas Golden Knights. The Blue Jackets are 5-2-1 in that time and have kept pace with the red hot Washington Capitals.
More from Union and Blue
- Blaming Columbus Blue Jacket Players for Babcock Fallout is Unfair
- The Mike Babcock Experiment in Columbus Has Failed
- Blue Jacket Prospects Win Traverse City Tournament: Who Stood Out?
- Mike Babcock Resigns as CBJ Head Coach: Reaction
- New Claims Bring Higher Level of Concern to Babcock Situation
Even more impressive, in the Jackets last five games, all of which they have got at-least a point (4-0-1) they have only allowed seven goals.
The newfound defense is a combination of both increased focus by the forwards and defenseman as well as Sergei Bobrovsky playing like a Vezina candidate.
There has been very little mention of guys like David Savard, Scott Harrington and Markus Nutivaara over the last few games and that is a great sign. When those guys aren’t being talked about that means they are playing sound defensive hockey and not giving up any big chances in their zone.
Stout defense is a hallmark of any team that makes a solid run in the playoffs. The Jackets have a goaltender that has proven he needs his team to prevent high danger shots in the playoffs in order to win games.
The Jackets have found that defensive switch and turned it on. Let’s hope they can find it in April as well.