The Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets meet at Nationwide Arena for a Tuesday night showdown. Both teams are part of the second-tier of the NHL. They aren’t on an elite level who are likely ready to beat the top teams in the playoffs. However, there is enough talent to be had to go to the playoffs and see what happens from there. The Avs went to the playoffs in their first season without Matt Duchene on board.
In fact, they impressed drastically once they got rid of Duchene who wanted nothing to do with the Avalanche organization anymore. They finished with a record of 43-30-9 to get a date with the Predators in the 1st round. As expected, the Avalanche couldn’t get pass the Preds, but they won a couple of games at least and made it a somewhat competitive series.
Conversely, it was pretty much the same story for the Blue Jackets on the other side. They went 45-30-7 and had a battle with a top-seed as well. The Jackets had to play the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals. And in that series, the Jackets caused some panic to set in for Caps’ fans. After the Blue Jackets won both games in Washington, and going home with a 2-0 lead, it was easy to say that the Capitals were choking again.
However, they won the next four games and the rest is history. The Jackets had to be thinking about that missed opportunity all season long. They were the team that made the Capitals sweat the most. Who knows what happens this season with the Jackets, though. Brandon Dubinsky who has developed into a terrific faceoff man, will hit the IR for the next 4-6 weeks. The veteran isn’t a gamebreaker by any means, but he is a nice role player that is winning nearly 70 percent of the draws. For the Avs, they may have a more significant forward missing from the lineup tonight. Get our free Avalanche vs. Blue Jackets pick below.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick
Gabriel Landeskog, captain of the Avalanche, appears to be dicey to play tonight. It might be a game-time decision for the Avs. He was seen walking around with a boot on yesterday, so that isn’t the best sign. All it could be is a sprain and the boot is on as a precaution, but the Avs may want to be cautious about starting him with an injury that could develop into something worse. It’s only October 9th, so they shouldn’t feel like he has to be playing so quickly.
If he does play, it’s not going to be at 100 percent, and his normal ice time will probably be cut down. The Avs have said that Matt Calvert will be his replacement if he can’t go. Calvert is a 28-year old that is more of a role player than anything. He hit a career-high in goals back in 2014-15 with 13. He doesn’t have a point thus far this year. Calvert would be with Rantanen and MacKinnon, who obviously benefit from playing with Landeskog.
Philip Grubauer will get his first start for the Avalanche tonight. He was one of the better backups in the NHL last season behind Braden Holtby. Grubauer posted a 2.35 GAA last season and a 2.04 GAA the year before. Winning the Stanley Cup was a fine way for Grubauer to wrap up an impressive career with the Capitals.
The Avalanche and Blue Jackets have allowed just 1.5 goals per game thus far this season, each allowing 1 goal and 2 in their first two games. With Landeskog missing this game, or at a minimum playing with a gimpy leg, the Blue Jackets and Bobrovsky will appreciate that. Note that the UNDER has gone 3-1-1 in their previous five meetings, and it’s gone 8-1 in their last nine meetings in Columbus. There has been an average of 4.4 goals in regulation in their last five. This looks like a 3-2 game at Nationwide.