The Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings meet up in Detroit tonight which actually typically ends up being a competitive game between these two. However, with the Blue Jackets simply treading water until the season is over, are they going to bring much to the ice against the Wings tonight? Historically the Jackets do get up to play the Red Wings, but after losing eight of their last ten games, seven losses in a row, are they going to be interested in playing the Wings? Geographically the Wings and Blue Jackets make a good rivalry with the Ohio vs. Michigan angle. But they have never met in the playoffs or been in any kind of meaningful games against one another which kind of dilutes a true rivalry. Trust me if the Blue Jackets became a good team this would be one of the best rivalries the NHL had to offer. As it is, the Red Wings are looking to make a run at the Stanley Cup, and the Blue Jackets are more or less looking to make a run to the airport to head off some place for vacation.
We are just looking at the game tonight, so I don’t care where either team is going to be in a month. And like I said, the Blue Jackets do usually bring their best game against the Red Wings. In fact, note that they are 7-3 over the Wings in their last ten games. The Wings overall have been the much better team over that stretch, but the Blue Jackets have been able to get the better part of the Red Wings. Their last meeting included a 1-0 win for the Blue Jackets in OT at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. So, Columbus isn’t scared of the Red Wings nor are they bothered by going into Detroit to battle. They’ve been sputtering lately, losers of eight of their last ten, but it might take the Wings for them to care. The Blue Jackets certainly don’t like the Wings, and I am sure they would like nothing more than to hurt their playoff seeding. These questions will be answered tonight in Detroit, where we look to put together a winning pick in the NHL.
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Detroit Red Wings
Plain and simple for the Blue Jackets to win tonight they are going to have to play like they want to win. Lately that really hasn’t been the case. Just a few weeks ago they were in playoff contention. It would have been a long shot, but they had a chance nonetheless. After spiraling out of control and losing came a regularity, it was clear that the Blue Jackets were not going to be able to make it to the playoffs. From then on out it appears they haven’t given two craps about how the rest of the year plays out; however, a visit to Detroit may change that.
The majority of the Jackets’ problems are associated with the defense. This is the worst they have had in some years now, and maybe in franchise history. They are allowing an average of 3.15 goals per game which ranks 26th in the NHL. They never had a great defense, but it was enough to keep them competitive. This season the defense has let them down in many ways. And of late things have been getting much worse. In their last ten games the Blue Jackets have allowed 3.60 goals per game, allowing 12 goals in their last three games.
For the Wings, who have got their offense on track with a healthy lineup, have been hot lately in that regard. While the Blue Jackets’ offense has been struggling, the Wings have been scoring 3.10 goals per game during that same period. On the season the Wings are 7th in the league in goals scored with 2.91 a game. I want to take the Wings, but the ML is too steep, and considering how well the Blue Jackets have played them, I see it as too risky taking -1.5. I still see the Red Wings taking advantage of the Blue Jackets’ defense in this game. They got shutout last time, but I think they break out. I forecast some goals, and I’ll gladly take it at +106 for a regular size bet for me.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (+106) 5DIMES.EU – BEST ODDS