Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards acknowledged that there were some positives to take from his team’s 4-3 Game 1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Still, he also emphasized that his team isn’t satisfied with almost.
“We aren’t here just to go to school. We’re here to win,” Richards said. “We got our feet wet. We know what to expect, and we’ll get focused for Saturday now.”
Jack Johnson gave the Blue Jackets their first-ever lead in a playoff game, so maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that he seemed upbeat about his team’s prospects despite the loss.
“This is a war of attrition,” Johnson said. “We weren’t timid or anything. We’ll regroup and be ready for Game 2.”
Lineup tweaks might be part of that regrouping process.
From a bigger picture perspective, the Blue Jackets seem intent to focus upon stemming the special teams tide, something Richards noted after the game. The Penguins turned a 3-1 deficit into a 3-3 tie thanks to an efficient man advantage on Wednesday, showing an edge that could be an X-factor in the series.
Controlling (or at least limiting) that power play could very well make this a “war of attrition” rather than the quicker series that some naysayers expect.