The nearly even Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers, who enter with records of 35-14-4 and 36-18-0. The Blue Jackets and Rangers are poised to reach the postseason and make a deep run at it. Look out for the Rangers, who are flying under the radar somewhat this season. Offensively they are looking better than ever, and while the defence has hit a couple setbacks, all they need is to get hot on defence at the right time and all would be well. Considering how well their offence has been playing, all they’d need to find considerable success is to find some defence when it matters.
Does Henrik Lundqvist have one last big push in him? He doesn’t have many left, but there is still something there in the tank. After they lost to the Kings in straight sets in 2014, the prospect of him winning a Stanley Cup looked fairly dire. The Rangers appear ready to at least have another go at it this year. Get back to the finals? It’s not going to be easy, as they would have to climb over the Penguins and Capitals, but we’ll see how things shake out here. It’d be some kind of strong effort if they make it happen.
Nevertheless, the Rangers have been hotter than ever at the moment, winning five straight games and playing exquisitely on offence along the way. They’ve gone 8-2 in their last ten games and playing every bit as good as the Pens and Capitals. However, one of their losses in those ten games came against the Columbus Blue Jackets. They will seek a little revenge tonight in Columbus. Continue reading to get our NHL pick below.
N.Y. Rangers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick
The Blue Jackets earned a nice 6-4 victory at the end of January at MSG in NYC. Columbus have found a way to become a thorn in the side of many opponents this season. The Blue Jackets are the comeback team of 2016-17 and it doesn’t even have to be noted. The table has turned with John Tortorella behind the bench, directing this team to a sense of purpose and direction. There was no identity with this team, but they’ve quickly developed into a team not to take lightly. I can say that more than ever, these playoffs this spring are going to be more interesting than ever. The Jackets have been scoring at a proficient rate, with 3.20 goals scored per game.
The Rangers have bested the Blue Jackets in that regard, notching an average of 3.40 goals per game overall this year. They’re 3rd in the NHL, while the Jackets are 5th. Goals have been coming at a pretty solid clip for these two recently, with 3.10 goals per game in the Rangers’ last ten games. Conversely, the Blue Jackets averaged 3.00 goals per game in their last ten. Difference being, the Jackets have been getting taken to task on defence, allowing 3.50 goals per game during that same stretch. They’ve looked a little like the Blue Jackets of last season of defence. The OVER 4-0 in their last four meetings, as well as 8-1 in their last nine dates. We should be able to cash in here with the OVER 5.5 on our NHL pick for Monday evening.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (-110)