I could not recover my momentum since I fell 2 of my three picks the last of which arrived in fashion.
The night actually got off to a beginning because the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins went back-and-forth before the match needed a shootout with the two clubs. The Lighting obtained a Steven Stamkos goal in the shootout while Andrei Vasilevskiy stood tall as we hit the Lighting at +100 chances that were nice in this particular one.
However, the night went downhill from that point. After becoming the first objective of the match, the Winnipeg Jets went on to lose their third straight home game and would enable the 3 markers. The offense isnt clicking and that I had been bitten by it on two of the three nights.
Eventually, my very last choice of the night between the Predators and Coyotes dropped as the total went over 6 thanks — you guessed it — an empty-netter. We sat with a push late into the third period however a Carl Soderberg empty-netter sealed our fate and gave us our second night that was losing during the last three.
It has been a week for this stage, but lets enter the weekend on a high note at Chicago Blackhawks from the United Center in Chicago and a matchup between the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Season Record: 6-7
*Odds courtesy of Bovada
Blue Jackets vs. Blackhawks Betting Odds:
Blue Jackets (+120)
More than 6.5 (-105)
Under 6.5 (-115)
Blue Jackets vs. Blackhawks NHL Pick
Its a rare meeting in the Windy City tonight because the Blackhawks and Jackets butt heads out of the United Center.
Columbus enters this one riding high after winning successive 3-2 games across Stars and the Hurricanes, a mini win streak after dropping three of the four games of this season. The group of john Tortorella has plenty to establish after dropping Matt Duchene, Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky and Ryan Dzingel to free agency in the offseason. Naturally, theyve been much better.
Scoring goals remains an issue. The Blue Jackets enters this 1 yelling tied for 28th with just 2.33 goals per game over the season and if they have been better against a couple of poorer offenses within the past 3 matches, they have still permitted 3.33 goals per game on the back end. Goaltending was an issue so much after GM Jarmo Kekalainen determined against upgrading the goaltending situation after Bobrovskys departure, rather handing the keys to Joonas Korpisalo. While Korpisalo has been better of late, it seems tonights beginning will go to Elvis Merzlikins who has made just another beginning this season.
Obviously, said begin did not go well. Merzlikins has been torched from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the song of seven goals on 40 shots, good for an .825 Sv% in his NHL debut. While we do not know a lot about Merzlikins from an NHL standpoint, we do understand that he put in some great work in the league for a few seasons before taking his talents abroad. Merzlikins submitted a solid .921 Sv% in Switzerland in each of the previous two seasons he found out early that the NHL is a whole new ball game.
Merzlikins will come face to face with keep whats a talented Chicago Blackhawks offense at bay in this one. They have reach their stride this season as they sit with an 3 goals per match regardless of the spike in October scoring keep in mind that this was the leagues most eighth-ranked offense from a year ago. The talented quarter of Patrick Kane Jonathan Toews, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat must get the Blackhawks back into the top 10 this season while Erik Gustafsson is the sudden one of the most profitable defensemen in the league out of an offensive perspective.
On the back end, the Blackhawks have been decent when allowing 3.25 goals per game, a number that places them directly in the center of the league. However, its been in their penalty kill that has hurt them as they position 30th with an awful 61.5% mark on the PK, but for tonight the good thing is that the Blue Jackets power play has scuffled a tiny bit with a 16.7% clip, good for a share of 23rd along with the Vancouver Canucks.
In four matches played this season, the Blackhawks have allowed just six even-strength goals against. Their blueline was upgraded in the offseason from a defensive perspective using the Distinct trade imports of Olli Maatta from the Penguins and Calvin p Haan. The hope is that the Blackhawks can be improved from their defense in the year past.
They also upgraded their situation with Robin Lehner who is coming from a Vezina-nominated season with the New York Islanders in the offseason. Lehner has made only 1 start this season, but will get beginning number two. In his lone start of the year, Lehner allowed three goals on 33 shots in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Despite getting nearly all of his notoriety past season, Lehner has been a really good goaltender during his NHL career as he possesses a .918 Sv% for his profession and continues to be at .920 or better in three of their last four seasons. For winning teams while with the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres, he wasnt enjoying. For me, theres hardly any doubt about who has the goaltending advantage in this one.
All told, I am about the tonight. An losing streak snapped with a triumph over the Edmonton Oilers that were white-hot . They outshot the Oilers 35-28 in that you too. I like the looks of this offense and that I cant help but believe that they have a huge opportunity tonight after being torched this year against a goaltender who cant be playing with confidence. I guess they can eclipse that mark awarded the situation , although they have scored three or more goals in every match this season.
The Blue Jackets have been better especially on the back end, but defending the Blackhawks can be a difficult undertaking and I believe the Blackhawks offense is ready to break out. That wont be good news for Elvias Merzlikins and Co. as Im carrying the Blackhawks to win that one on the moneyline tonight.