A big matchup in the NHL tonight, as the streaking Chicago Blackhawks meet up with the red hot Tampa Bay Lightning. Now that I have your attention, we will not be having a pick for that game tonight. The Lightning have finally turned the corner and looking good, while the Blackhawks have been hot for a considerable time now. However, in my opinion that game is a coin flip, take your pick. So, we aren’t going to Florida this evening, instead we go to the wonderful city of Columbus, Ohio. As a University of Michigan fan, I say that with the utmost love and consideration. Of course, Columbus is home to the Ohio State Buckeyes. There is another team in Columbus who are often forgotten about, the Blue Jackets. I will say one thing, if you’re ever around Columbus on a Tuesday night, there is this bar near the arena that serves $1.00 hot dogs and $3.00 beers. I’m not sure if this deal is still on, perhaps a Blue Jackets’ fan can clarify for me, but that is pretty much a reason in itself to become a Blue Jackets’ fan if you’re in the area.
Now to the product on the ice. The Jackets made waves a couple week ago after they sent Ryan Johansen to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Seth Jones. This doesn’t take an expert fan to establish why the Blue Jackets made the deal. First, Columbus was in need of some help on the blue line, and second, I am not so sure the relationship between head coach John Tortorella was too peachy. However, from a pure hockey standpoint, the Blue Jackets do get a young, talented defenseman. He still has a lot of growing and maturing to do, but Jones is a guy who is only 21 years old. A rare find out of the state of Texas, which is known for producing football players and not hockey players. The Blue Jackets, though, do lose lots of talent in Johansen. But the Blue Jackets need to start thinking of the future, and acquiring Seth Jones to shore up the blue line isn’t a bad idea at all.
Calgary Flames vs. Columbus Blue Jackets NHL Pick
The Flames make the stop in Columbus after a 4-2 loss to the Devils two nights ago. This will be their third game on the road in a row. It started in Edmonton with a loss, then they followed it up with another loss to the Devils, and now face the Blue Jackets. A 4-2 loss to the Devils is a little head turning. Considering the state of their offense right now, allowing 4 goals to the Devils is almost the equivalent of allowing 4 goals to an AHL team. The Flames have been all over the place and especially the defense. Calgary is 2nd to last in the NHL, giving up 3.02 goals per game. Who is in last place? You guessed it, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets have allowed 3.5 goals per game in their last ten. In eight of their last ten games, the Jackets have given up 3 or more goals. In five out of ten, they allowed 4 or more goals. As you can see, there is a correlation between trading for Seth Jones and this defense, but they have some work to do before they become a solid unit. The Flames have played some pretty poor hockey on the road this season with a 6-12-1-2 record. After getting blasted by the Capitals 6-3, I think the Blue Jackets take care of the Flames tonight. Columbus has become a much better team since they started the year off at 0-9. This is a team the Flames typically struggle with, as they are 1-5 in their last six against the Blue Jackets. I don’t feel the Jackets are a good team, but this is a good spot bet in my opinion.
PICK: BLUE JACKETS TO WIN -115