NHL Hockey Betting: Columbus Blue Jackets at Vancouver Canucks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Columbus Blue Jackets at Vancouver Canucks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

To their credit the Vancouver Canucks have been ‘treading water’ lately splitting their last ten games. The more recent view is not quite as hopeful with Vancouver losing 4 of their last 6. They’ll have their hands full if they want to get some momentum as they’re getting in front of the speeding freight train known as the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Columbus Blue Jackets have been the NHL’s ‘cautionary tale’ for injuries over the past few seasons. The prevailing wisdom has always been that they’d be a handful once they got healthy. That has proven to be correct. Right now the only players on the injury list are RW David Clarkson and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo who have been out since early October. The Jackets, meanwhile, are the hottest team in the league winning 8 straight and going 9-0-1 in their last 10 games. They’ve moved into third place in the Metropolitan Division and now have the Rangers and Penguins in their sights just 3 points ahead.

Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start for Columbus here and he’s been playing out of his mind. He’s 18-5-2 this season with a 1.90 goals against average, a 0.935 save percentage and 3 shutouts. He’ll be opposed by Vancouver’s Ryan Miller who is 7-9-0 with a 2.83 goals against average and a 0.910 save percentage. Neither goalie has been officially ‘confirmed’ but since both teams were idle last night the starters should go.

The Blue Jackets have been monstrous because they’re excelling in every phase of the game–they’re scoring goals, playing great defense, getting great goaltending and are solid on special teams. They have the best power play in the league but only the 14th penalty kill percentage. Still, that’s not bad. They’re #2 in goals for per game and #2 in goals against per game. That’s downright nasty. The Canucks are just not in the same league in any statistical category. In fact, they’re really bad in every statistical category with the exception on penalty killing (#15). Elsewhere they’re #22 in goals per game, #28 in goals against per game, #27 on the power play.

Just a mismatch at this point. This is the last game of a three game Western Canada road swing and the Jackets would love to go 3-0 to finish home and begin a nasty stretch at home with games against Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Montreal and Boston.


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