Wednesday evening pucks and the Metro Division will square off with the Atlantic Division as the Columbus Blue Jackets rumble with the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Ontario. The Blue Jackets will be playing this game on no rest as the gave a road game against the Islanders on Tuesday night, while the Maple Leafs are off a huge 4-3 home win over the Lightning. Goalie Probables: Joonas Korpisalo will get the nod for the Blue Jackets in this one and the Maple Leafs will counter with Frederik Andersen.
The Blue Jackets Need Their Offense To Improve
The Columbus Blue Jackets would not be in the postseason if the playoffs started today and the crease for this has been their non-existent offense for much of the year. They did just score six goals on the Devils and have a game against the Islanders on Tuesday night, but still, they have been one of the worst offensive teams in the league this year and they did average just 1.73 gpg in their 15 games prior to the New Jersey game. If they don’t start finding some offense, then they will not be apart of the postseason party this year. Leading the team in goals has been Josh Anderson with 17, while 2nd is Artemi Panarin with 15 and 3rd is Pierre-Luc Dubois with 12. This team needs more scoring options. The Blue Jackets have gone 11-16 on the road for the year and they have averaged 2.67 gpg and have allowed 3.15 gpg in those games.
Sergei Bobrovsky is slated to get the start against the Islanders on Tuesday night, so for this one, it will be Joonas Korpisalo and he has gone 5-5 with a 2.97 GAA and a .910 save percentage on the year, including 1-3 with a 3.78 GAA and a .889 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 13-15 with a 2.93 GAA on the road and 13-10 with a 2.83 GAA against the Atlantic Division, while against the Maple Leafs he has gone 4-1 with a 2.20 GAA.
The Blue Jackets have been poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 29th in the league in scoring at 2.56 gpg, while also ranking 3rd in shots taken (34.2 spg) and 31st in power play conversions, converting on 14.0% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been solid as they come in ranked 10th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.75 gpg, while also ranking 13th in shots allowed (31.7 spg) and 27th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 24.6% of their chances.
Leafs Grab Huge Win Against The Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning have the most points in the league and they did have a pretty sizeable lead in the Atlantic Division, but that gap is closing as the Bruins trail them by just three points and now the Maple Leafs are just six points behind after take a 4-3 home win over the Lightning on Monday night. Toronto has been a hot team of late as they have now won eight of their last nine and no matter if they catch the Bolts for first in the division, this team is well on their way to the postseason as they have a 19 point lead over Florida, who is 4th in the division. The Leafs had a 3-0 lead over the Bolts before Tampa scored three straight to tie it. Toronto then got the game-winner from James van Riemsdyk at the 4:37 mark of the 3rd period and they held on from there. It was his 23rd of the year. Also scoring in the win was William Nylander, who scored twice and now has 14 on the year and Jake Gardiner, which was his 4th. The Maple Leafs have gone 18-10 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.18 gpg and have allowed 2.75 gpg in those games.
Grabbing the win against the Bolts was Frederik Andersen, who stopped 31 of the 34 shots that he faced in the game to improve to 28-19 with a 2.65 GAA and a .921 save percentage on the year, including 15-9 with a 2.64 GAA and a .922 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 71-41 with a 2.41 GAA in his home games and 31-17 with a 2.72 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Blue Jackets he has gone 3-3 with a 2.79 GAA.
Toronto has been very solid on offense so far as they come in ranked 5th in the league in scoring at 3.22 gpg, while also ranking 16th in shots taken (31.7 spg) and 14th in power play conversions, converting on 20.5% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been above average so far as they come in ranked 13th in goals allowed, giving up 2.78 gpg, while also ranking 28th in shots allowed (33.7 spg) and 6th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 17.0% of their chances.
- 33-89 in their last 122 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- 1-4 in their last five vs. the Eastern Conference
- 5-1 in their last six vs. the Eastern Conference
- 4-1 in their last five vs. a team with a winning record
The Columbus Blue Jackets are trying to stay in the race for a playoff spot, but they are not playing all that well at the moment and they will be playing this game on no rest. That is not good as they are taking on a very hot Toronto team that has played well at home this year. The Leafs are 18-10 at home, while the Blue Jackets have gone 11-16 on the road and Toronto has a decided edge on offense especially of late as they have averaged 4.25 gpg over their last eight games, while the Blue Jackets have averaged just 2.00 gpg over their last 16 games. Columbus will not have enough offense to win this one.