The Columbus Blue Jackets travel to St. Louis for a Friday night matchup against the Blues at the Enterprise Center. Columbus will be eyeing a win to get them over .500 for the season. They went 5-5-2 in October to begin the post-Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky era in Columbus. With a lot of the playmakers they had during their playoff run last season, flirting with .500 by the end of the season seems likely as well. What you’ve seen so far from the Blue Jackets is probably what you’re going to get. There are teams who’ve gotten off to a slow start, while others are in the fast lane. A lot might change for them, but when it comes to the Jackets, they look like a .500 hockey team.
John Tortorella knows what he’s working with in 2019-20. The Paper Italian will have to pull some strings to get his team into playoff contention this season. A lot of pressure falls on Joonas Korpisalo in net, but expecting him to perform like Bobrovsky did a season ago is asking a lot of the Finn. Korpisalo was irate in a recent loss against the Flyers. On a shorthanded breakaway attempt, Kevin Hayes buried the go-ahead goal in the 3rd period for the Flyers to take a 5-4 lead. Korpisalo had a scene, as he smashed his stick against the post and had a tantrum. He got absolutely no help in that game and his frustrations boiled over.
Frustrations continued for the Blue Jackets in their next outing, as they were downed by the Edmonton Oilers, 4-1, on Wednesday in Columbus. It’s been an up and down season for the Blue Jackets, and I think that’s to be expected with this group. Jackets’ fans are going to have to take the good with the bad as the season goes on. The Blues enter Friday night with a solid mark of 7-3-1. They showed last season that it’s not imperative to have a hot start and win the Stanley Cup, though. Head below for our free Blue Jackets vs. Blues pick.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. St. Louis Blues Pick
The Blues went on an ugly stretch, but are back to printing wins most recently. They were losers in four straight games, as the team looked like they were playing with a hangover from last season. St. Louis haven’t exactly looked like world beaters this season. Keep in mind it didn’t take until after Christmas for the Blues to become one of the greatest comeback stories in sports. From last to first with a Stanley Cup. In any event, I think the Blues prefer to get going earlier this time around in their championship defence.
St. Louis are winners in four of their last five games after breaking out of that mini four-game slump. They’re coming off a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. The Blues will look to take advantage of a Blue Jackets team who have been sleeping on the road defensively. They’ve gotten belted for an average of 4.4 goals against as a visitor on the road this season. Korpisalo hasn’t been able to fill the skates of Bobrovsky as the starter in Columbus thus far. He heads into St. Louis with a 3.37 GAA and 0.886 save percentage in his first season as a full-time starter in the NHL.
Despite a better save percentage on the road, Korpisalo has a weaker GAA when travelling outside of Columbus. He owns a 3.65 GAA on the road this season, which indicates that the Blue Jackets’ defence have to do a much better job as well. Columbus have allowed at least 3 goals in six straight games, so they must figure out how to play better defensively soon. St. Louis are 5-2 in their last seven meetings against Columbus. Looking more like themselves recently, they should be able to dispose of the Blue Jackets in regulation Friday night at home.