The Vegas Golden Knights are a long way away from the desert in Nevada, as they open a four-game road trip in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. Vegas will not be back home at T-Mobile Arena until November 14th against the Chicago Blackhawks. They will play five of six games at home following this road trip, so there is a silver lining at the end. In any case, the Golden Knights have been serviceable on the road this season with a record of 4-2-0.
The Knights enjoy a tremendous home-ice advantage in Las Vegas, but they’ve been playing well enough thus far as a visiting team. That said, it’s not much of a sample size and they could easily be under .500 by the end of this trip. Their next two stops aren’t going to be easy, as they go to Toronto and then Washington. The finale of the road trip should be easier on them in Detroit against the Red Wings on Sunday evening.
Vegas are coming off two straight overtime losses, falling to the Canadiens in a 5-4 entertaining game on Halloween, and then followed it up with another loss in extra time against the Jets by a score of 4-3. The Golden Knights have lost three of their last four outings at home, so perhaps that home-ice advantage isn’t as strong as it previously was. Hockey in Las Vegas was a new concept for a lot of players at first, though I think teams are beginning to pick up on that it’s only another business trip.
The Blue Jackets have been feeling cold recently, as they go into Tuesday night on a four-game skid. I can’t say that’s too surprising. People expecting what happened last year are going to be disappointed with the Jackets. With a record of 5-6-1, what you see is likely what you’re going to get from them this season. As much as John Tortorella tinkers with things, it’s likely never going to be good enough. This team certainly isn’t as talented as the 2018-19 version. We’ll see if they can get out of four-game funk tonight at home. Get our free Golden Knights vs. Blue Jackets pick below.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick
The Blue Jackets are looking for answers in net following the departure of Sergei Bobrovsky in the offseason. Bobrovsky left for Florida to sign a richer contract with the Panthers. That left the Blue Jackets rolling the dice with a netminder who had never been a full-time starter in his career. Joonas Korpisalo help up well as a backup to Bobrovsky, but when the limelight shifts to directly on you, there is a lot more pressure and expectations. They don’t have the luxury of going to Bobrovsky if Korpisalo is struggling. He hasn’t been starter material thus far. Korpisalo enters Tuesday with a 3.24 GAA and 0.89 save percentage in 11 outings.
Korpisalo has been backed up this season by Latvian Elvis Merzlikins. He has been off the mark as well, with a 3.91 GAA and 0.882 save percentage in four appearances and three starts. We don’t really know if Korpisalo has what it takes to be a starting goaltender, and then in the case of Merzlikins, can he be a reliable backup? So far the Blue Jackets have struck out in that respect. They’re going to have to stick with Korpisalo and hope he starts seeing the puck better. Columbus are well below average defensively, with 3.57 goals against per game and it’s been a mess at home.
The defence has been non-existent at Nationwide Arena, as they’ve allowed 4.33 goals per game at home in 2019-20. In the Blue Jackets’ previous four games, they’ve surrendered an average of 4.5 goals per contest. He last time they gave up less than 3 goals in a game was way back on October 16th against the Stars, who were stuck in an offensive lull then.
Vegas have been slightly better defensively of late, with 4.25 goals against per game. They’ve allowed 9 goals in their last two games alone. The OVER has gone 5-1 in their last six games. Depending on the sportsbook, it may have been 5-1-1 because of 7’s out there in their most recent showing vs the Jets. In any event, there’s been at least 7 goals scored in five of their last six games. On the other side, the OVER has gone 4-2 in the Jackets’ previous six tilts. Getting 6 here provides a decent amount of value on the OVER in Columbus.