The Columbus Blue Jackets get back on the ice following a bad loss against the Blackhawks on Saturday. They were dropped by a score of 4-1 against the aging Blackhawks team in that one. It likely isn’t going to be a preview of things to come, though. Chicago will probably struggle and be a non-factor when it comes to the playoffs, while the Blue Jackets are looking at going back to the playoffs. What would it take for the Blackhawks?
It’d have to be a monumental effort by Corey Crawford between the pipes to get them anywhere. And with that, he’d have to stay healthy as well. The NHL is all about speed and up-tempo play these days, and the older legs aren’t going to be able to keep up, especially later in the season. The LA Kings are already finding out what it’s like to play with an older roster.
The Blue Jackets do not have that problem by a long shot. They’re tied for 1st with an average age of 25 on their roster. The Blue Jackets will get one of their young horses back against the Coyotes tonight. Defenceman Seth Jones will make his long-awaited debut in Columbus for this one. It’s a relief for the Blue Jackets, who they can now pair with Zach Werenski on the blueline.
That should provide an instant boost to the 4-3-0 Blue Jackets. The Coyotes head into Columbus with a record of 2-5-0 in a year they are hoping to see some progress. Thus far it’s been a work-in-progress for the Yotes, who are on the heels of a 5-3 loss against the Jets. It was the third loss in their last four games. This will be the fourth stanza of a four-game road trip for the Coyotes, with their only win coming against the Blackhawks. Head below for our free Coyotes vs. Blue Jackets pick.
Arizona Coyotes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick
I don’t know if it was much of an era in Arizona, but the Coyotes decided to give up on Max Domi recently. They sent the former 12th overall pick packing to Montreal in what was the end of a short era for a guy who was expected to produce in the desert. It was likely best for all parties to part ways, so Domi gets a fresh start in Montreal, and the Coyotes hope to build around 20-year-old Clayton Keller.
He registered 23 goals and 42 assists as a rookie last season and provided some solace in what was the sixth-year in a row that they missed the playoffs. Keller has 3 goals and 2 assists to open the 2018-19 campaign. Head coach Rick Tocchet wants to play an up-tempo style, but it hasn’t translated into offence, yet at least. The Coyotes have notched just 1.43 goals per game for 31st in the NHL. They’ve scored 1 or no goals in four of seven games.
The Coyotes have been better defensively, as they’ve allowed 2.43 goals per game. However, teams don’t really have to light the scoreboard up against the Yotes to earn a win. Against their dreadful offence, it makes sense to just get a lead and play keep away with the puck.
Sergei Bobrovsky has been terrific against the Coyotes with a 2.02 GAA and 0.937 save percentage. And now the Jackets get Seth Jones back on defence. The Blue Jackets have won six games in a row over the Coyotes and that trend should continue tonight in Columbus. Also, they are 9-1 over the Coyotes in their last ten games at home. The Blue Jackets should probably be more expensive in this spot.