On a completely unrelated note, it’s already Friday? The week absolutely flew by as we close in on the Super Bowl this Sunday. The Super Bowl will be the talk of the sports world this weekend, as the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots battle for the right to be called Super Bowl Champions. I can’t wait, but before then, let’s try and rack some NHL cash in. Last night was another profitable campaign on the ice, as the Philadelphia Flyers downed the Canadiens by a score of 3-1. The Flyers ultimately became the underdog in the game, as the point shift went, but it was all gravy with the Canadien offence having an off night in Philadelphia.
Tonight we head to Pittsburgh where the Blue Jackets and Penguins will do battle. The Jackets were the surprise team of the first-half of the season with a blistering hot start to the season. They came just short of achieving the longest winning streak in NHL history, but despite that, nobody can dispute the success they had. Nobody saw it coming after they were trounced badly to start out last season. The ensuing result was John Tortorella taking over as the head coach.
If the Blue Jackets seemingly fall to pieces in the second-half, you can forget about too many people remembering the long winning streak. Yeah, it was nice and all, but the real reward from that will be making the playoffs and sustaining a long successful run in the playoffs. Right now everything is coming up golden for the Blue Jackets. They enter Pittsburgh with a record of 33-12-3, a significant mark for them which they hope to improve on against the Penguins. The question everybody is asking is whether this Jackets team will be able to compete with the big boys in the playoffs. We get a small sneak peak tonight in Pittsburgh. Find our exclusive NHL pick below.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Pick
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been deadly at home. If anyone is going to beat them in the playoffs, they’re going to need to find a way to get to them in Pittsburgh. The Pens have a staggering record of 21-3-2 at home, something that will separate them from the rest of the pack handicapping wise come playoff time. Pittsburgh will be a favourite to hoist the Stanley Cup yet again, which would make it back-to-back championships for them. It seems like the Pens and Capitals are on a collision course, but we’ll see how it all plays out. The Penguins suffered a rare 3-0 loss to the Blues at home on January 24th.
Both teams come in at an average 5-5-0 in their last ten games. Scoring has been relatively easy for both of these teams, with the Penguins averaging 3.55 goals per game and the Jackets 3.35 goals per game. The 3.55 goals per game is good enough for 1st in the NHL. Defence and goaltending has been their problem, as they’re 22nd in the league. This is where there has been considerable separation between them and the Caps.
The Capitals have been playing lockdown defence, while the Penguins have been trying to figure it out, which wasn’t the case at all a year ago. Nevertheless, it’s hard to go against them at home where they are 21-3-2. The Pens show the Blue Jackets that it isn’t going to be as easy as it was in the first-half of the season for them. Pens take this on Friday night.
PICK: PENGUINS TO WIN -140