Columbus Blue Jackets (33-23-3, 69 points) @ Ottawa Senators (22-33-5, 49 points)
February 22, 2019, 7:00 PM EST (Canadian Tire Centre)
Moneyline: Columbus Blue Jackets -235/ Ottawa Senators +195
Puckline: Columbus Blue Jackets -1.5
ESPN NHL Scores: Ottawa Senators vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets are in a (pretty much) three-team race for the Wild Card spots in the East. Columbus is 5-5 in their last 10 games but fell to the Canadiens in Lightning in back-to-back games.
At the bottom of the barrel is the Ottawa Senators, currently sinking further than any team has before. Their 20-point difference from the Blue Jackets isn’t a testament to the Jackets, but to how horrible the Senators are in 2019.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves in position to make a real run at the playoffs, with less than two months to go. They are right at the precipice of a major decision, with Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky looking to go elsewhere at the season’s end and the trade deadline fast approaching.
We may be privy to a showing of talent and ability by Panarin and Bobrovsky (as long as Panarin doesn’t soil himself again). The comparison of the two stars is hard to make this season. Panarin leads the team in points, with 67, while Bobrovsky has struggled to keep his save percentage above .900 all season.
It’s easy to point to the successes of the Blue Jackets and their first line, but the lack of talent beyond the first line is worrisome. We know that at any moment Panarin could be traded, but with the offense losing a 16.3% shooter, it will be tough for them to find goals. Keep an eye on the trade wire for this one.
It was while I wrote this article that Matt Duchene was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Did I say keep an eye on the trade wire for this one? I certainly did! The Ottawa Senators can’t win a game, but they will surely make it harder to do so when their top players are traded before this Monday’s deadline.
Despite all of the losing, Mark Stone has done a decent job racking up goals and points. Stone (28 goals and 62 points) is scoring goals on 20% of their shots. The first line and pairing have been the one shining light for the Senators.
With all of that offense, it’s the goaltending (similarly to the Blue Jackets) that has put the Senators in this lowly state. They have a team save percentage of .902 and 31st in CorsiFor% (45%). The Senators struggle to prevent shots and don’t stop those chances. The lack of defensive scheme, transition, and general play is what led to the Senators allowing the second most goals against (223), so far this year.
Cover the Spread 365 NHL Betting Trends
Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Columbus’s last five games
Columbus is 5-0 ATS in its last five games on the road
Ottawa is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games
Ottawa is 1-4 SU in its last five games
Ottawa is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games at home
Free NHL Predictions: Columbus Blue Jackets @ Ottawa Senators
Cover the Spread 365
I mentioned a lot of potential trades, but it’s all about hoping that these teams are the same loadout that they were this morning. If that is the case, then Panarin and the Blue Jackets should be able to put up some points on the Senators. Also, if the Senators start wheelin’ and dealin’, this could be an absolute blowout for the Jackets. Include the fact that Duchene was just traded to the Blue Jackets as a sure win.
I’m still going to take the Jackets, but I’m just not sure by how much. I won’t touch the Puckline, but data and the trends tell me the Senators are ready to lie down as the “dog” in this matchup.