The Columbus Blue Jackets, on the heels of two straight losses in their second round series to the Boston Bruins, faced elimination Monday night. After taking too many penalties in game four and too much time to get going in game five, the team faced a familiar scenario: their backs against the wall with the season on the line. Shades of late March all over again, no?
With the season on the line, Alexander Wennberg was swapped out for Markus Hannikainen. Adam Clendening sat, while Vladislav Gavrikov remained in the lineup.
Does not look like Wennberg or Nash is on the ice for practice. Markus Hannikainen is practicing. #CBJ— Tom Reed (@treed1919) May 6, 2019
With the season on the line, and the prospect of Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky playing their final games in Nationwide Arena, the Jackets hit the ice. How’d they fare?
Well, here we go.
#CBJ pre-game warm-up lines/pairs:— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) May 6, 2019
Panarin - Dubois - Anderson
Dzingel - Duchene - Bjorkstrand
Foligno - Jenner - Atkinson
Texier - Dubinsky - Hannikainen
Werenski - Jones
Gavrikov - Savard
Harrington - Kukan
Looking for a fast start early, Columbus could not find offensive zone time through the first 90 seconds of the game. Only on the third shift of the game did Columbus find a =oasis up the zone, but Boston was able to clear and generate more offensive zone time. David Savard was forced to ice the puck just 2:18 into the game relieve the pressure - not an ideal start for the team in blue.
Columbus threw several solid hits early, but most came to nothing. Artemi Panarin was able to generate the best chance for the Blue Jackets early as Panarin found Pierre-Luc Dubois for a redirection but it stayed out of the net - it took five minutes, but Columbus may have found their legs. Brandon Dubinsky had a point blank chance denied by Tuukka Rask after a feed from Markus Hannikainen just seconds later.
After chasing the puck early, the Columbus Blue Jackets saw a shot hit the post as he powered to the net. On the same play, however, Dubois ran over Rask and was boxed for interference with 13:14 remaining in the first period. Yet again, Columbus took the first penalty to give Boston life. Marginal call, and Rask sold it, but goaltenders will always get that call. Columbus killed the penalty, allowing no shots on net. Seconds after, however, a Scott Harrington turnover behind the net led to a netmouth scramble. Sergei Bobrovsky was caught out of position and the Bruins were able to put the puck in the back of the net. Columbus challenged for goaltender interference, and the goal was disallowed with 8:53 gone. It was determined that Joakim Nordstrom interfered with Bobrovsky’s ability to make the save.
After #CBJ challenges, the call on the ice is overturned, and the goal is waved off. John Tortorella and the Blue Jackets challenged two goals in the regular season for interference, but neither was overturned. Stick taps to the CBJ bench and video coach Dan Singleton here. pic.twitter.com/SbyyFuE2Aj— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 6, 2019
On the restart, Columbus’ new look first line had several chances but Rask was equal to each, including a big one timer from Panarin. Seth Jones and Boone Jenner were able to generate strong chances as the teams crossed the 11 minute mark of the first period.
Ryan Dzingel charged the net and got a shot off as the teams went to a second TV timeout, but it was denied by Rask as Zdeno Chara dislodged the net. No penalty, however.
Boston was able to maintain some offensive zone time after the timeout, forcing anxious moments for the CBJ faithful as pucks were deflected and changed direction in front of Bobrovsky. Seconds later, Patrice Bergeron sent a rebound chance just over the net as Bobrovsky waved in a desperate attempt to keep the score knotted at zero. If anything, it felt a like Boston goal was closer to happening as the teams hit the final TV timeout of the first period.
Dubois, needing a solid performance, generated three of Columbus’ five scoring chances in the first 15 minutes. Oliver Bjorkstrand saw a chance denied with a juicy rebound, but no one was left in front of the net to follow up, a running theme in the series. After an ensuing whistle, Brad Marchand and Boone Jenner exchanged ... well, not dinner plans, certainly.
After some defensive zone confusion, Boston saw a big chance go wide with just 1:45 remaining. David Krejci was an effective distraction for a Chara shot, but it missed the net. On a 2 on 1 chance after Seth Jones was caught pinching, Sergei Bobrovsky was able to deny a streaking Bergeron with one minute remaining.
With seconds remaining, Bobrovsky denied Charlie Coyle on the doorstep to keep it knotted at zero.
Hits after the first period: 24 for Columbus, 8 for Boston. Shots favored Boston 12-10. Five blocks for Columbus, one for Boston.
A long shift by the first line saw Jones, Anderson, and Werenski with chances that were turned aside before an icing call forced a Columbus defensive zone faceoff. Torey Krug was caugh unaware on the boards just before and was absolutely demolished by Dubois.
Matt Duchene forced a turnover but his pass was broken up by Krug or Anderson was all alone with a gaping net. With 17:18 remaking in the second, David Pastrnak sat for tripping Cam Atkinson on a faceoff. The power play, just 3-17 in the series, went to work. Foligno had a chance 40 seconds in denied by Rask and the ensuing rebound was cleared by Marchand. On a mad scramble after an awful pass from Panarin to Jones, Boborovsky was able to make the save on a 2 on 0 chance by Sean Kuraly and deny Boston a golden chance. Boston killed the penalty with only one shot from Columbus.
Zach Werenski walked into the offensive zone and let a shot fly wide with 13:!5 remaining in the period. Bjorkstrand and Duchene had a 2 on 1 develop but Rask got enough of Bjorkstrand’s wrist shot. With 11:57 remaining, Dean Kukan hit the crossbar and it went out of play. Unlucky, he had Rask beat.
The Blue Jackets earned a power play as Brad Marchand sat for slashing Seth Jones with 10:38 remaining. A scrum broke out in front of the net after the whistle as Foligno was knocked into Rask, but the Jackets earned the power play. Seth Jones saw a drive denied by Rask before more fisticuffs ensued as the teams changed units. A scramble in front of the net came to nothing as the Bruins killed the second Jackets power play, allowing four shots.
Jake DeBrusk hit the post on a rush by the Bruins that broke down the Jackets’ defense, and David Krejci was able to bury a one timer on the far post past Sergei Bobrovsky with 7:47 remaining.
Boston goal (0-1): Krejci from DeBrusk and Clifton, 12:13
Josh Anderson hit the post with 6:41, but his effort went out of play. Another chance missed by the Jackets to get one in this game. Brandon Dubinsky saw a backhand chance denied with 4:30 remaining in the period as Connor Clifton got a skate on Dubinsky’s shot.
Josh Anderson saw a great backhand chance denied with one minute to go. As the period ended, Josh Anderson was destroyed on a monstrous hit from Charlie McAvoy and Anderson stayed down. He got off the ice and went straight to the locker room. McAvoy went straight for Anderson’s head and launched into it. They gave McAvoy two minutes for an attempted decapitation. Absolutely horseshit call from a league that doesn’t care about player safety.
How this is only a two minute penalty, I have absolutely no idea. pic.twitter.com/YCxXfW7fQC— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 7, 2019
The period ended with Boston up 1-0. Hope Josh Anderson is okay.
If a guy can’t get an angle of a play four feet in front of him we need to fundamentally revisit this discussion. https://t.co/yLU3A62Sjz— Travis Yost (@travisyost) May 7, 2019
This league is terrible.
Columbus saw a great chance saved by the pad of Rask, but that was the best chance as Columbus was held off again with the man advantage. After getting through the penalty, Boston began to exert offensive zone time, cycling the puck and shooting when chances presented themselves - the Bruins seemed content to just keep the puck away from Rask for as long as possible.
The Jackets earned their fourth power play of the night, desperately needing a goal as Nordstrom went off for slashing PLD on the rush at 4:48. Jones had a great rebound chance but unfortunately broke his still on the opportunity. A long shift finally ended when Rask’s mask fell off after getting hit by a Jones slap shot. Several great chances for Columbus, including another piece of iron, but the team could not find a way to solve Rask yet again.
After an extended shift, Boston hit the backbreaker. A criss cross saw Marcus Johansson shoot through Scott Harrington and beat Sergei Bobrovsky and trickle over the goal line.
Boston goal (0-2): Johansson from Coyle and Heinen, 8:58
Columbus, pushing to get back in the game, got caught up ice. David Backes beat Oliver Bjorkstrand to the front of the net and beat Bobrovsky. Bob had no chance on that after a great feed from Krug.
Boston goal (0-3): Backes from Krug and Krejci, 9:21
Despite Columbus far outshooting Boston, Rask was making the difference, as he has for much of the series. Columbus continued to push, but remained unable to solve Rask.
Sergei Bobrovsky left the net with 3:30 remaining, possibly for the last time in union blue.
Boston Bruins 3 Columbus Blue Jackets 0
Head safety issues are a joke, and this league does not care. Don’t ever believe otherwise.
This season was full of memories, but they ultimately fell short. Credit to the team for coming together late and finally winning a series. That will neve be forgotten.
If this is the last we see of Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin in our home uniforms, let me be the first to say thank you. Thank you to those two players for all you have given this city and I wish you all the best going forward.
Stay tuned to The Cannon for the offseason as we recap the series, the season, and the players over the course of the offseason before we have draft profiles and free agency.
Thank you for reading, and we hope you stick around.
As always, go Jackets.