The Columbus Blue Jackets are putting up a valiant effort to try and keep their heads above water. At 25-27-2-1 the Jackets are stuck in the middle between the good and bad teams. You really can’t say that Columbus is a good or bad team, they are simply average, average as it gets. They do have some good wins on their resume, but a lack of consistency has doomed them. It isn’t all that surprising, this is pretty well what people thought they were going to bring to the table months ago before the season even began. I don’t know if this franchise has any intentions of getting better, so they may be stuck in this mode in the foreseeable future. Goal scoring and offense was long a problem for the Blue Jackets, but the script has turned around and now their defense has been letting them down significantly. The Penguins have been anemic on offense lately, so either they wake up or the Jackets catch them at the right time.
After losing their third straight game to the Washington Capitals this season, the Pens will try and forget about those events tonight as they welcome the Jackets to their building. The Penguins have been topsy-turvy of late and it doesn’t feel like they have been the most confident bunch. However, they still have a record of 32-16-4-6, will get a great seed in the playoffs, and will be one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. If they can do it is another question in its own, one that no one can be so certain about. Perhaps a defense like the Blue Jackets is what the Penguins need to get in gear. The Lightning had it in gear last night, as they got behind 1-0 early, but didn’t look back from there. The Lightning ultimately won the contest, 4-0, to give us an easy winner at +120.
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Pittsburgh Penguins
For all of the issues that the Penguins have had on offense, there is a sense that they are going to break through in a big way on offense one of these nights. What better way to do it at home against a struggling defense and after Alexander Ovechkin got the better of you in the last game. Could the Blue Jackets be the punching bag against the Penguins tonight? I don’t know if they will tear through them, but they should be able to get the win. Further the Penguins should get back to playing a complete game on the offensive end. After scoring only 2 goals in their previous two games, they should be looking to take it out on the hapless Jackets’ defense who have had major problems.
The Blue Jackets are allowing 3.11 goals per game, which amounts to 26th in the NHL. This is the worst season they have had on defense in a few seasons now. They’ll content with a Pittsburgh offense that has slipped to 11th in goals scored, but can still score the puck. Especially after two porous games on offense, I expect them to do just that. The Jackets have been playing in high scoring games lately, averaging 3.40 goals scored per game and letting in 3 themselves. The OVER has gone 6-1 their last seven games played, and I see it going to 7-1 after tonight.
Pick – OVER 5.5 GOALS (+100) 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)