The Columbus Blue Jackets picked up a nice win on the road Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. The Flyers made it interesting late by pulling within a goal, but the game would end with a 4-3 decision for the Blue Jackets. They will wrap things up before going on Christmas break against the Devils in New Jersey.
The offence came up big with 4 goals yesterday, but it’s been Sergei Bobrovsky playing well in net that’s gotten them going in the right direction recently. He was all over the map across the first two months of the season. Solid performances marred with beatdowns and 8 goals against twice on his resume. The last couple of weeks have been consistent as we’ve seen from him this season, though.
Bobrovsky will likely get the day off after starting the previous 11 of 12 games. That would leave the job to Joonas Korpisalo. There have been rumors about a Bobrovsky trade going back to the summer, but if the Blue Jackets are serious about making the playoffs and going somewhere this season, they likely need Bobrovsky in net.
That doesn’t mean they’re going to go parlay it into a berth in the Final, though, which might be enough to get a solid package in return for Bobrovsky in a trade. They just can’t expect Korpisalo to carry them in the same fashion that Bobrovsky is capable of doing.
Pressure would be on him to perform well, or Columbus will be in the market for a goaltender in the offseason. If they don’t trade him, the Jackets are at risk of losing him in the offseason since he’s a free agent. The Devils host the Blue Jackets following a 5-2 victory over the Senators. New Jersey needed that one after three straight losses and just 2 wins in their previous 13 games. Make it 3 wins in 14 for the Devils. Get our free Blue Jackets vs. Devils pick below.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. N.J. Devils Pick
The Blue Jackets have been relying on Bobrovsky to come up big recently, but yesterday it was the offence that carried the load against the Flyers. Carter Hart was sharp in his first two games in the NHL, but hit an inevitable pothole on Saturday for the Flyers. It’s not going to be as easy all the time as he found out yesterday. The Blue Jackets were the best offence he’s had to play in three outings.
The Devils handled them on Thursday, though still came up short by a score of 2-1 in Columbus. It’s frustrating for a team like the Devils to lose a game like that. They’ve typically gotten goals this season, but struggled defensively. Both looked solid against the Senators in a 5-2 final. It’s likely that Korpisalo gets the nod between the pipes on Sunday, which should provide an easier time finding goals this afternoon.
Korpisalo owns a 3.54 GAA and 0.885 save percentage, so it’s a noticeable drop-off from Bobrovsky in net. The Blue Jackets have allowed just over 3 goals per game on the road this season. However, have netted over 3.3 goals per goals in their opponent’s net.
The Devils have been strong at home, with a record of 9-3-4 compared to 3-12-1 on the road. They have recorded 3 goals per game overall, with that number rising to 3.5 per game in Newark. I expect the Blue Jackets to be in a similar game as yesterday in Philadelphia.
They will likely find goals, as they keep the momentum going from Saturday. However, the Devils, especially if Korpisalo is in net, should continue to produce up front behind Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri. There are a few books out there, including 888sport that have a 5.5 floating around on the total. I strongly suggest getting an account there for betting hockey totals, as they like to release them earlier without the hook in most cases. If Korpisalo is confirmed, this likely closes at 6 most places, though. In any case, a 4-3 final, which looks accurate, will hit either way.