Bruins Ruin Regular Season Home Finale For Columbus
Winners of five in a row, the Columbus Blue Jackets played host to the Boston Bruins in the regular season home finale at Nationwide Arena. Just like in their last meeting in Ohio on March 12th, the visitors took the lead early in the first period on one of the strangest bounces in all of hockey. Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk’s shot deflected high into the air right above Sergei Bobrovsky’s net. It proceeded to bounce off the top of the netting and rolling down the goaltender’s back and into the goal.
To clinch a playoffs birth, Columbus needed a win against Boston and a regulation time loss for Montreal against Tampa Bay. The Bruins, however, had other plans. Unlike the team that took a 7-4 beating at the hands of the boys in Union blue, Boston came out sharp and aggressive. So did the Blue Jackets. But the Jackets couldn’t sustain the sharpness. Mistakes were made. Those mistakes led to breakaways, odd-man advantages, and ridiculously hard saves by Sergei Bobrovsky. With two goals in the first period and two more in the second, Boston took control of the game and proceeded to send the home fans to the exits.
By all mean, beating Boston was not going to be easy, but the Jackets have been playing well. Really well. Scoring 24 goals and allowing only four in a five-game win streak before tonight’s game and climbing to the first wildcard spot in the process. The first bizzar Boston goal did not affect the Jackets’ play. The fact that they were just off on most shots eventually seemed to wear on them. This is a team that hasn’t seemed to be able to sustain consistent energy through a full 60-minute span. Boston was able to withstand the Jackets’ pressure and capitalized on the many turnovers to turn this game into a lopsided affair.
Bobrovsky deserves some major praise though. The scoreline could have been significantly worse had it not for some spectacular saves by the Columbus goaltender. Yes, four goals went past him while he was in net. In three of the four goals, there was a significant breakdown in front of him. Being lifted in favor of Joonas Korpisalo seemed more of a reward than a punishment from head coach John Tortorella.
I will save you the gruesome descriptions of how Boston scored its goals. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is how this Jackets team rebounds. When the puck is rolling their way, Columbus can hang with the best teams in the league. But when they are just off, even slightly, they can’t seem to get out of their own way.
Columbus has two more regular season games left. They will take on the New York Ranger and Ottawa Senators in back to back days on the road. It’s gonna be a photo finish for this team to make the playoffs as both the Canadiens and Hurricanes won their respective games to complicate things further for the Union Blue.