Friday night NHL action and the Pacific Division will square off with the Metro Division as the Vancouver Canucks grapple with the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Canucks enter this game off a 3-1 loss to the Capitals on the road, while the Blue Jackets will be playing on no rest as they have a road game against Buffalo on Thursday night. Goalie Probables: The Canucks will be sending out Jacob Markstrom and he will be opposed by Joonas Korpisalo.
Lines: Columbus -161/ Vancouver +163
Skid Hits Five With Loss To The Caps
It seems like it is safe to say that the Vancouver Canucks will not be heading to the postseason this year. The Canucks come in off a 3-1 loss to the Capitals on the road and have now lost their last five games in a row and 13 of their last 16 to fall to 14th place in the Western Conference playoff standings. The offense has really been an issue of late as they have scored just eight goals over their last five games and they have averaged 2.06 gpg over their last 16 games. They just don’t have enough good goaltending to overcome bad offense like that. Scoring their lone goal against the Capitals was Daniel Sedin, which was his 10th of the year. The Canucks have gone 9-12 on the road this year and have averaged 2.76 gpg and have allowed 3.10 gpg in those games. Absorbing the loss against the Capitals was Jacob Markstrom, who allowed three goals on 36 shot attempts to fall to 10-19 with a 2.77 GAA and a .908 save percentage on the year, including 4-8 with a 2.94 GAA and a .897 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 22-44 with a 2.93 GAA on the road and 27-46 with a 2.73 GAA against the Eastern Conference, while against the Blue Jackets he has gone 1-0 with a 2.58 GAA.
The Canucks have been poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 28th in the league in scoring at 2.58 gpg, while also ranking 28th in shots taken (30.0 spg) and 12th in power play conversions, converting on 20.7% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been poor as they come in ranked 27th in goals allowed, giving up 3.26 gpg, while also ranking 20th in shots allowed (32.2 spg) and 27th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 22.0% of their chances.
Jackets Are Looking To Keep Pace In The Metro
The Columbus Blue Jackets have a chance to grab some easy wins as they have a game against the Sabres on Thursday night and then they have this one against the lowly Canucks, who have really been struggling of late. The Blue Jackets are four points behind the Capitals for first place in the Metro Division and grabbing four points in these two games would really help them keep pace. The Blue Jackets really need to get their offense going as they have averaged just 2.20 gpg over their last 10 games. Eventually, the lack of offense will cost them. Columbus has gone 15-7 here at home for the year and have averaged 2.50 gpg and have allowed 2.32 gpg in those games. Joonas Korpisalo is slated to get the start in this one and he has gone 4-4 with a 3.10 GAA and a .904 save percentage on the year, including 3-2 with a 2.78 GAA and a .914 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 14-11 with a 2.60 GAA in his home games and 7-8 with a 3.23 GAA against the Western Conference, while against the Canucks he has gone 1-0 with a 0.92 GAA. Sergei Bobrovsky may get the nod and he has gone 21-15 with a 2.40 GAA and a .922 save percentage on the year overall, including 12-5 with a 1.95 GAA and a .937 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 105-78 with a 2.40 GAA in his home games and 77-59 with a 2.37 GAA against the Western Conference, while against the Canucks he has gone 3-6 with a 2.65 GAA.
The Blue Jackets have been poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 27th in the league in scoring at 2.64 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots taken (33.8 spg) and 31st in power play conversions, converting on 12.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very good as they come in ranked 8th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.68 gpg, while also ranking 11th in shots allowed (31.5 spg) and 21st in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.3% of their chances.
- The Under is 6-2 in their last eight games playing on two days rest
- The Under is 5-2 in their last seven vs. the Eastern Conference
- The Under is 7-1 in their last eight games playing on 0 days rest
- The Under is 15-4 in their last 19 vs. the Pacific
The Vancouver Canucks have been horrible of late and it starts with an offense that has averaged just 2.06 gpg over their last 16 games. Getting that offense going in this one will not be easy at all as the Blue Jackets have allowed just 2.32 gpg on their home ice so far this year. The Blue Jackets know all about offensive woes as they have one of the worst offenses in the league and it has been even worse of late as they have averaged just 2.20 gpg in their last 10 games while here at home they have put up just 2.50 gpg. I look for this one to go Under the total, especially since Blue Jacket home games have averaged just 4.82 gpg on the year.