When the Blue Jackets won in Nashville Saturday, they did so by only committing two minor penalties. It might be easy to say, but the more penalties you take, the tougher it will be to win.
Columbus found that out the hard way Monday evening. Columbus took nine minor penalties in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings allowing the prolific power play of the Wings to give seven power-play opportunities.
“We want to cut the penalties down, especially in the offensive zone,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. “I think we took three or four penalties in the offensive zone. You have to eliminate those. Some of it is the energy we had going into it. That maybe we got carried away a bit”
Columbus looked solid on its first penalty kill not allowing Detroit to establish possession and take any shots. The next power play was a tale of survival for the Blue Jackets. Detroit hit three pipes behind the net of Sergei Bobrovsky.
Officially, the Blue Jackets penalty kill was a perfect 7-for-7, but the game-tying goal for Detroit came as Ryan Johansen was leaving the penalty box. The goal was a back-breaker as Columbus had battled Detroit well up until that pont.
“I don’t think we let that discourage us,” Blue Jackets defender Jack Johnson said. “We know that early in the season, things are going to be called tight. Special teams will play a big factor in winning hockey games. You can win or lose games on special teams.”
Richards has said he envisions his tean being a strong, physical squad. Taking penalties comes with the territory, but he realizes his club needs to be more disciplined while doing so.
“We don’t want to take the aggressiveness away from our guys,” Richards said. “We still want to play hard, go after pucks and play a physical game. There are certain penalties you just have to kill off. When someone goes in and it takes a big hit or Nick Foligno taking the puck hard to the ner, that is what you want those guys to do.”
Boll sent out to fight
When Jordin Tootoo and Jared Boll were in the starting lineup, they knew why their respective coaches sent them out on the opening faceoff. It only took three seconds for the two who have a long history to drop the gloves and scrap. A 90-second fight with no clear decision was bruising for the combatants and entertaining for fans.
Tootoo and Boll were locked into a staring match from opposite wings at the start of the game. Before the puck was dropped, Tootoo started heading towards Boll.
Tootoo was playing in just his second game as a member of the RedWings. Tootoo spent eight seasons with the Nashville Predators before this season. Boll and Tootoo had a number of encounters while Tootoo was with the Predators.
“With a big crowd, wanted to get it in,” Boll said. “We knew it right away. He was out there, we kind of nodded at each other and knew what we had to do. Everyone has a job to do and that is what I did.”
Boll was in the starting lineup with forwards R.J. Umberger and Derick Brassard. Typically those two would be joined by Cam Atkinson. After the fight, Boll returned to his fourth-line role joining Matt Calvert and Derek MacKenzie.
The announced crowd of 19,206 was the largest regular season crowd in Nationwide Arena history. Monday’s game was the only one home game on national TV and played on NBC Sports. The Jackets will appear on NHL Network twice later in the season. Defender Fedor Tyutin notched his team-leading third assist of the season.