Because the tied second-round matchup between the Blue Jackets and Bruins shifts to Ohio, Columbus believes that bodily play could be a difference-maker in what has all of the makings of a protracted collection.Brandon Dubinsky checks Connor Clifton|Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire through Getty ImagesCOLUMBUS – When a collection has all of the makings of being a protracted one, as does this one between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Boston Bruins, an enormous hit serves a twin function. After all, it knocks the opponent off the puck. Nevertheless it additionally wears him down, just a bit, and that might reap rewards once you get to Video games 6 and seven.
And once you’re the more energizing crew in a collection, because the Blue Jackets are after a first-round sweep, you are taking the bodily benefit when it’s offered to you. Opposite to what you may suppose, neither the Bruins or the Blue Jackets is an inordinately giant or bodily crew. Boston just isn’t your father’s Huge Dangerous Bruins, neither is Columbus the Black and Blue Jackets. However the latter is hoping that an emphasis on ending checks and taking part in the physique tilts the battle of attrition in its favor.
“It’s males versus boys and once you’re bodily, it separates the 2,” stated Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno. “It reveals you it’s a person’s sport and that’s what makes it enjoyable.”
There have been a complete of 91 hits in Saturday’s double-overtime victory for the Blue Jackets in Recreation 2 – 49 by the Blue Jackets and 42 by the Bruins. Total, by means of the primary two video games, the Blue Jackets have outhit the Bruins by an 89-73 margin, with Boone Jenner main the way in which for each groups with 11 hits within the collection. Chris Wagner and Joakim Nordstrom led the way in which for the Bruins with 9 every. Over the course of the playoffs as a complete, the Bruins and Blue Jackets have about the identical variety of hits per sport, with Columbus averaging 34.three and the Bruins 33.eight. When it comes to measurement, the 2 groups are virtually an identical with Columbus averaging only a contact over 6-foot-1 and 196 kilos, whereas the Bruins common 197 kilos and the Blue Jackets 196. None of these statistics is anyplace close to the highest of the NHL and neither crew has a participant within the high 10 in hits within the put up season.
Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara set a tone with an enormous hit on Riley Nash in Recreation 1 and Connor Clifton did the identical with one on Oliver Bjorkstrand. Though it hasn’t been a very bruising collection, neither crew is backing away from conditions the place there is perhaps contact.
“Within the playoffs, that’s the way you break groups down,” Foligno stated. “That’s what we attempt to do. It will definitely breaks somebody down and we’ve to discover a approach to combat by means of that. We’re snug being hit, and we’re simply as snug hitting. We see a few guys getting hit to make performs on our crew and that’s what you’re going to wish this time of 12 months. I believe we’re actually snug in these sorts of video games.”
Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones performed by far essentially the most minutes of any participant in Recreation 2 – and we imply by far, since his 38:01 was virtually 5 minutes greater than the following highest participant – and he had 5 hits in that sport to associate with the three he had in Recreation 1. The groups have performed solely two video games on this collection, however they’ve performed 158 minutes and 57 seconds of hockey, which is the equal greater than two and a half video games. And with so little separating the 2 groups, there may very well be much more further hockey performed on this collection. So carrying down your opponent may very well be a key issue.
“Ending your checks or getting hits early in a sport might not appear to be an enormous deal, however over a collection I believe it’s a large deal,” Jones stated. “(The Bruins) perceive that as a result of they’ve been in that state of affairs earlier than. We perceive that as effectively and that’s undoubtedly on the high of our record. I believe it’s a part of each groups’ identities to play exhausting, bodily, heavy hockey and that’s what you’re seeing.”
So far as the toll it takes in your physique, that’s simply a part of life as an NHL participant. “The aches and pains are a part of it,” Foligno stated. “I’ve all the time stated I’ve by no means felt good since Recreation 1 of my profession. You simply be taught to play by means of that stuff.”
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Tags: boston bruins, columbus blue jacketsConnect: In regards to the AuthorKen CampbellKen Campbell, The Hockey Information’ senior author, is in his second tour with the model after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native as soon as tried out for the Ontario League’s Wolves as a 30-year-old. For sure, it did not work out.