Coyotes vs Blue Jackets Pick – NHL April 8th

With just three games on last night’s NHL schedule we weren’t provided with a vast amount of lines to choose from, however we managed to hit our one and only pick and start the week off with a nice profit. The Anaheim Ducks officially eliminated the Vancouver Canucks from postseason play as rookie netminder John Gibson shutout the Canucks in his NHL debut which simply could not have gone better. In fact, all three games last night resulted in a shutout, with two 1-0 games followed by Gibson’s 3-0 shutout victory over the Canucks. We are excited to begin the week with a solid winner, and definitely are looking forward to a repeat performance with just another single selection this evening with ten games on the NHL slate.

Phoenix Coyotes @ Columbus Blue Jackets

My Pick – COYOTES (+120) @ (Best Odds)

Two teams battling for the final Wildcard spots in their respective conferences will clash in Columbus, Ohio tonight as the Phoenix Coyotes, who trail the Dallas Stars by one point in the West will do battle with the Columbus Blue Jackets who sit three points up on Toronto and New Jersey in the East. While Columbus can breathe a little easier than the Coyotes, Phoenix is in an absolute do or die dogfight for the final Wildcard spot in the Western Conference with the Dallas Stars. With just four games remaining on their schedule including tonight’s tilt, points are at an absolute premium against a Blue Jackets team who can slide into the first of the two wildcard spots in the Eastern Conference with a win and a Detroit loss in Buffalo. Phoenix certainly has not done themselves any favours lately as they have lost four games in a row and have scored just four times over those four losses. Dave Tippet’s team definitely needs to start finding the back of the net and should find success if they do so as Thomas Greiss has been stellar as Mike Smith’s replacement not only recently, but all season long as the backup boasts an impressive 2.28 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in 22 games so far this year. The Blue Jackets have been able to maintain their playoff spot by alternating wins and losses over their last five games but besides a 4-0 win over the lowly New York Islanders on Sunday night, the Jackets haven’t been blowing the socks off of anybody. Their five powerplay goals over their last three games accounts for 56% of their scoring, so without several powerplay chances in tonight’s contest this team could be hard up for scoring as well. Over their last ten head-to-head meetings (remember, Columbus was in the Western Conference up until this year) these two teams have been about dead even across the board. Phoenix averages 2.5 goals per game over those ten contests compared to 2.4 for Columbus, Phoenix averages 33 shots on net to Columbus’ 30, and Columbus has scored 5 powerplay goals compared to Phoenix’s 4. With such a tight matchup I will go with the more desperate Phoenix squad tonight as the underdog to knock off Columbus and possibly slide into a Wildcard spot if Dallas manages to lose their game tonight.