Everything is clicking for the Columbus Blue Jackets right now. The team has found its groove heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Compare that to this time last season when the Blue Jackets were just coasting in the post-season. Things like the power-play and certain players have really helped the Columbus Blue Jackets stay hot at the right time.
Timing is Everything as the Blue Jackets Stay Hot
The Power Play is Dangerous
The power-play has been a big part of the Blue Jackets success recently. Before the trade deadline on February 26th, Columbus was 30th on the power-play, scoring goals just 14.6 percent of the time. Since the trade deadline, the Blue Jackets are sixth in the NHL on the power-play, scoring 25 percent of the time.
The success on the power-play has not come from just one person. It has been the exact opposite. Out of the teams 13 power-play goals since the deadline 12 players have scored on the man advantage. This gives the Blue Jackets every reason to believe that this success will continue into the post-season. An opposing team cannot end a Columbus power-play by shutting down one player. Compare that to last year where the Blue Jackets only had five power-play goals from the beginning of March till the end of the season.
The Offence is Clicking
The offence has also been a major factor in the recent hot streak for Columbus. Before the trade deadline, the Blue Jackets were 28th in the league in scoring. Their 157 goals in 62 games averaged out to 2.53 goals per game. Since the deadline, the Blue Jackets have scored 73 goals in just 18 games averaging out to 4.05 goals per game. The goals per game average of 4.05 put the Blue Jackets first in the league in scoring since February 26th. They are also the only team averaging more than four goals per game.
Much like the recent power play surge, the recent offensive success also sees balanced scoring. Seven Blue Jackets have scored five or more goals since the deadline. Four members have the team have 10 or more assists in that same span. The Blue Jackets also have three players with 20 or more points in the 18 games since the deadline. Another five skaters have scored 10 or more points in that period. If the whole team keeps playing like this the Blue Jackets will be a team that no one wants to play in the playoffs.
The Goaltending is Top Notch
Sergei Bobrovsky and Joonas Korpisalo also deserve credit for the team’s record down the stretch. The Blue Jackets are 14-3-1 in the 18 games since February 26th with a goals against average of 2.61. This number is good enough for seventh best in the league and second in the Eastern Conference since the deadline.
While Korpisalo hopefully won’t have to see a minute of postseason time, his five games have helped the Blue Jackets rest Bobrovksy. In Korpisalo’s five games the Blue Jackets have earned seven points. Bobrovsky is looking like he is ready for the playoffs winning 11 of his last 13 starts. The Columbus netminder has a goals against average of 2.16 and a save percentage of .929. If Bobrovsky can keep this pace during the playoffs he will break his current playoff reputation.
If Columbus carries this level of play into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they will be a hard team to beat.
Main Photo: COLUMBUS, OH – MARCH 17: Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Columbus Blue Jackets is congratulated by David Savard #58 of the Columbus Blue Jackets after defeating the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on March 17, 2018, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)