Golden Knights vs. Blue Jackets NHL Pick – December 17th





<p>One more game for the Vegas Golden Knights on the road before heading home. The Golden Knights will conclude a three-game road trip out east against the Blue Jackets in Columbus tonight. The Knights cut it close against the Rangers yesterday, but ultimately came out on top with a 4-3 win in overtime. Alex Tuch beat Henrik Lundqvist on a pretty feed from Paul Stastny on a 2-on-1 break to end the game. </p>
<p>Stastny also scored in regulation to get his first goal as a Golden Knight. He had been on the IR for a considerable amount of time, so he’s just starting to get a feel for his new team in Vegas. Stastny was a member of the Winnipeg Jets team that they faced in the Western Conference Final a season ago. </p>
<p>If you can’t beat them join them, I guess. The verdict is still out on Stastny, though if he begins to play at a level that he’s capable of, the Golden Knights are going to have a weapon on their hands. They lost James Neal in the offseason to Calgary, but if Stastny can step up he will be the cog that the Knights have been waiting for this season. </p>
<p>In any event, Vegas have been playing better hockey over the past few weeks, with a record of 10-2-1 since November 21st. They went on a five-game winning streak and have only suffered a few hiccups from there. The Knights will likely face a difficult task in Columbus this evening on a back-to-back. Columbus seems to be heading in the same direction as last season, which will be fighting for a bottom seed to get a seat in the playoffs. Head below for our free Golden Knights vs. Blue Jackets pick. </p>
<h2 class=Vegas Golden Knights vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick

Marc-Andre Fleury got the start in net on Sunday, so logic would dictate that it’s going to be backup Malcolm Subban in net in Columbus. Fleury has been a workhorse in net this season, with Subban seeing the crease only four times this year. I doubt Gerard Gallant goes to Fleury here playing on a back-to-back given that he’s started the last thirteen games. That’s a good way to burn him out and have him sucking wind by April. In other words, Gallant has to pray that Subban gets something going or consider a move for another goaltender.

Maxime Lagace has not been playing well in Chicago with the Wolves, so I don’t think he’s a suitable option, or Oscar Dansk. Subban has a 4.02 GAA and 0.859 save percentage in four starts and a relief appearance this season. The Golden Knights somehow made it work without Fleury playing for a decent chunk of last season. However, don’t bet on it happening again if he hits the shelf.

With that said, the offence has been picking it up for the Knights, and with Stastny back in the lineup the sky looks pretty sunny. If Stastny can heat up at the right time, they’re going to continue to be a difficult out once again in the spring. Unfortunately, it does look like Erik Haula is going to be lost for the entire year, thus making Stastny’s role even more important.

Vegas have recorded 3.8 goals per game in their previous ten games. Conversely, the Blue Jackets have struggled defensively, with 3.6 goals allowed per game, though have scored 3.2 per game. Sergei Bobrovsky hasn’t looked elite in net, as he enters tonight with a shaky 2.99 GAA and 0.901 save percentage. Okay numbers for a backup, but not a guy of his calibre. The Blue Jackets are averaging 3.41 goals per game, while allowing 3.29 goals in Columbus. Let’s go with another Vegas OVER for one our NHL picks to get the week started on Monday.

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Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

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