Blue Jackets vs. Hurricanes NHL Pick – January 4th

Another day and another loss for the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. This time it was the Carolina Hurricanes who took care of the Flyers. They were in control before the Flyers made it a 4-3 game after making it somewhat interesting following a 4-1 lead. That was as close as the Flyers would come, though, as the Hurricanes tacked on an insurance marker to close out a 5-3 victory.

The Hurricanes have won two in a row and they were both against the Flyers. That’s nothing to get excited about, as the Flyers have ranked near the bottom of the league this season and have been in disarray. Nevertheless, it usually isn’t easy to beat the same team in back-to-back fashion like the Canes did.

The Hurricanes gave Petr Mrazek the nod in net last night, while giving Curtis McElhinney the night off so he could get some rest for the Blue Jackets on Friday. McElhinney has been the quite acquisition for the Hurricanes, who must have been pleasantly surprised when the Maple Leafs dumped him before the season started. The Leafs are feeling the hurt right now because of that decision. With Frederik Andersen and Garret Sparks both on the injury report, Toronto had to go with Michael Hutchinson between the pipes.

If it weren’t for McElhinney, the Hurricanes would be left with Mrazek as the fulltime starter. He’s an okay netminder, but hasn’t shown that he can be the main guy. The Hurricanes advanced to 17-17-3 last night with the victory in Philly. It’s highly unlikely that they can go on a run in the second-half to steal a wildcard. If they are .500 at the end of the season and haven’t moved anywhere, that’d be no surprise. Maybe if Carolina kept Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm around they’d have a case, but otherwise in their current capacity they are pretty vanilla. Head below for our free Blue Jackets vs. Hurricanes pick from Raleigh.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Carolina Hurricanes Pick

The Blue Jackets are feeling hot heading into Raleigh, as they’ve accumulated wins in six of their last seven games. Their only loss was to the Maple Leafs, 4-2, during that stretch. The most recent victory came against the Ottawa Senators by a score of 6-3. It’s easy to forget that the Blue Jackets had the Capitals down 2-0 in the playoffs a season ago.

They are likely to be in a similar position this season, playing an elite team as a bottom seed in the playoffs. That isn’t to say they shouldn’t have a decent record. They are a 23-13-3 team right now, and just a point away from being out of the playoffs. A good record in the Eastern Conference can still get you a date with a team like the Capitals or Lightning.

The Jackets have stepped up on the defensive front recently. They’ve won six of their last seven because of Bobrovsky playing like a top goaltender. The defence has helped out as well, with less than 30 shots allowed per game in their last ten games. That also includes just 2 goals allowed per game.

On the other side, the Hurricanes have surrendered a whole goal more at 3 goals per game. The Jackets have been slightly better on the road this season, as they enter Friday with a mark of 12-5-1 for one of the better records on the road you will find in the NHL. Their offence hasn’t had any issues scoring, with an average of 3.33 goals scored per game when they travel out of Ohio. I will take the Blue Jackets at this cheap price against the Hurricanes playing on a back-to-back tonight.

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Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.