Nationwide Arena is the site for an East-West tilt as the Vancouver Canucks come into town to face the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sportsnet Pacific will air the game, which gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, January 12.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Odds
Earning moneyline bettors 2.3 units, the Blue Jackets are 25-20 straight up (SU) overall in the 2017-18 season. That win percentage, ranked second in the Metropolitan Division so far in this young season, is a slide from what the team recorded during last year’s regular season (50-32). Out of the team’s 45 regular season contests, 24 of them have gone under the total, while 19 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team is 15-7 SU at home this year.
Columbus has converted on just 12.9 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s ranked 30th overall in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is rated 21st overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.7 percent of all penalties.
Columbus, as a collective unit, has been called for penalties just 3.1 times per game overall this season, and 2.2 per game over its past five matchups. The team’s had to kill penalties for just 8.5 minutes per game over its last 10 outings, in total.
Averaging 28.4 saves per game with a .922 save percentage, Sergei Bobrovsky (21 wins, 16 losses, and three OT losses) has been the best goalkeeper for the Blue Jackets this season. Bobrovsky did just play last night, however, so the Jackets might opt to rest him and go with Joonas Korpisalo instead (4-5-5 record, .904 save percentage, 3.10 goals against average).
Artemi Panarin and Seth Jones will both lead the way for the Blue Jackets. Panarin (37 points) is up to 12 goals and 25 assists and has recorded two or more points on seven different occasions this year. Jones has seven goals and 22 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 22 games.
Vancouver is 16-27 straight up (SU) and has lost 6.5 units for moneyline bettors thus far. A total of 24 of its contests have gone over the total, while 19 have gone under and none have pushed. As the visiting team, Vancouver is 9-12 SU so far.
Vancouver has scored on 20.7 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that places it in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 26th overall and it’s successfully killed off 78.0 percent of all penalties.
Vancouver’s skaters have been called for penalties 3.9 times per game this season, and 3.0 per game over their last five games. The team’s had to stave off opponent power plays just 8.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Jacob Markstrom (26.3 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Vancouver. Markstrom has 10 wins, 21 losses, and five OT losses to his credit, and has registered a .908 save percentage and 2.77 goals against average this year.
Brock Boeser (22 goals, 18 assists) will pace the offensive attack for the visiting Canucks.
Vancouver Canucks at Columbus Blue Jackets Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Under
The under has hit in each of Columbus’ last five games.
Power-play opportunities may have a key role tonight. The Canucks are 6-8 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 10-19 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Blue Jackets are 12-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 21-14 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
Four of Columbus’ last ten games have gone to a shootout. The team is 2-2 in those games and 5-3 overall in shootouts this year.
Columbus skaters have averaged 9.2 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 7.7 takeaways per game (ranked 13th in the league).
Vancouver has managed just 1.6 goals per game, while giving up 4.0, over its five-game losing streak.
Vancouver is ranked 27th in the league this season with 5.9 takeaways per game. That figure has trended higher, as it’s managed 6.9 takeaways over its last 10 games and 8.0 takeaways over its last five.
Columbus may hold the upper hand if it’s a tight one late. The team’s 14-6 in games decided by one goal, while Vancouver is 5-9 in such games.
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