There is no time for the Blue Jackets to sit on and dwell about last nights loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. It would have been a big win for the Jackets, but they came up just short in the loss by a score of 2-1. The Blue Jackets tried late to tie it up but they were unsuccessful, as Ben Bishop made another strong case for being the best goaltender in the NHL through 2015. Bishop looks locked in, the defense just has to pick up and they will be fine. The Lightning didn’t need much offense last night, as the defense once again took care of things. Tampa heads to Toronto on a back-to-back. The Blue Jackets will be in action again tonight, as they find themselves on a back-to-back as well. The Lightning draw the Maple Leafs tonight while the Blue Jackets head on the road to play the Dallas Stars. The who? Yeah the Stars. That is a pretty brutal schedule having to play the Lightning then travel all the way down to Texas for a meeting with the Stars. The 1st place Stars I should add.
If there is anything I have gotten correct about this season, is that the Stars were going to be a team to look out for. That prediction has certainly come to fruition, as the Stars have looked like a great team. It is rather early to come to any major forecasts for the Stars into the spring time, but by what we’ve seen already, this is a very dangerous team. Dangerous and a good team doesn’t always translate to winning in the playoffs in this league, but the Stars are enjoying what they have at the moment. Dallas heads into tonight against Columbus with a record of 22-6-1. They also hold an impressive home mark of 11-3. The Stars want to add to the Blue Jackets misery by handing them their fifth straight loss in a row. They have also gone 1-7 in their last eight games. The Jackets were pitiful at the start of the year, they rose a bit, now they seem to be on the way back down. I give the pick below.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Dallas Stars NHL Pick
The comeback by John Tortorella has seemingly gone for not quickly in Columbus. After steering the ship in the right direction after the 0-9 start to the season, the Blue Jackets looked like a respectable, competitive team. It couldn’t be further than the truth right now, losing another one to fall to 11-18-2-1 this season. The schedule isn’t in their favor on ending their losing streak tonight, as they had to play a strong Lightning team only to turn around and play the Stars on the ensuing night. The Stars are 22-6-1 this year for a reason. Jamie Benn is 1st in the NHL with 20 goals, he also has 20 assists. That is some kind of point to be at in the middle of December. Benn is helped out by Tyler Seguin who has a strong 15 goals and 25 assists.
They are a good team with several options on the roster. There isn’t a player on this team who needs to carry the load every night. They have several that can do that. The Stars are far and above and the best offensive team in the NHL, scoring 3.37 goals per game for 1st in the league. The defense is 16th but they were near last a year ago, so that actually is a major improvement. I said it quite often last season that all the Stars needed is an average defense to be great, here we are seeing it. Tough spot for the Blue Jackets here having to lose a tight one last night against the Lightning, then needing to fly down to Dallas to play the Stars. Dallas takes this one by a couple of goals or three.
PICK: STARS -1.5 (+120)