Bad meets worse when the Columbus Blue Jackets host the struggling Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night at the Nationwide Arena.
If you think
things have been going badly for Winnipeg check out how badly things are
turning out for the Blue Jackets. The Jets premiere season in the NHL is
looking like a tough one, as after 16 games they have only managed five wins
with eight losses. They’re bottom of the South East on 13 points, hardly flying
The Blue Jackets, however, can only look on such a
bad run of form with envy, as after 15 games they've recorded two wins and 12
losses. Columbus are sat dead last in the NHL with just five points. It's an all
or nothing game tonight as they will be just one meeting between these two teams
The (last ten) form favours the Jets, who are 4-4-2 compared to
Columbus who are 2-8-0. If you bet hard you can make a semi-decent return as
the sportsbooks have an away win at +162 and a home win is at +125. If you think
this game is going to be too close to call you can get a very decent return as
the draw is offered up at +300 on the NHL Odds boards.
New name / Old
Winnipeg Jets are technically a new team, their previous incarnation: the
Atlanta Thrashers had a very poor record against the Blue Jackets. The Jackets
had won five in a row against the Thrashers including three shutouts dating all
the way back to the 2005-06 season and they are
More recently, it’s telling that Columbus has been
outscored 19-6 in their three-game losing streak. Still the Jets have lost four
in a row and have conceded 17 goals while scoring nine in that skid. It is a slightly sticky run, as two of those games (against the Devils and the Sabres)
Winnipeg only lost by a single goal. However between those two close calls they
were shut out 0-3 by the New York Rangers.
In their last game, they were beaten by another three-goal margin by the Panthers. For the sake of
parity, let’s take a look at the Blue Jackets’ last four games, of which they
have won just the one. Columbus have scored nine goals but have conceded a
whopping 20. Their only victory from this quartet was a 3-1 win over Anaheim,
but they went down 6-3 to the Chicago Blackhawks in their last game.
Does a leaky
defence equal goals galore?
It has to be
mentioned that the Blue Jackets have the league's worst penalty kill at 71.2%, and it seems that every time there is an opportunity the opposition takes a
goal. “Any mistake we make, it just ends up in the back of the net,” said Blue Jacket
defenceman James Wisniewski.
The more you investigate Columbus' form the worse
things get. The Jackets have scored just once in their last three games when
they haven't been four or more goals behind, this does not bode well for a home
With two “less than good” teams colliding I'm tempted to say that neither
side can afford a bad performance or a bad result, and with two teams who seem
to be evenly matched we could be in for an impressive night of hockey. The way
that Columbus concede goals makes me think this could well go over 5.5 goals,
and NHL betting outlets seem to agree with me as they have Over 5.5 goals at -135 while the game ending Under 5.5
is offered up at +115.
The bookies also
seem to think that the second period will be the busiest at +150 while they
have the third period being the highest scoring at +160. You could be in for a
nice fat return if you invest your NHL picks in the first period (being the biggest scoring)
if the teams come out and hit the ice running, that's on offer at approximately
The Blue Jackets
will be looking to avoid a fourth consecutive loss while the Jets will be
looking to stop their own skid of four straight defeats. A quick look into my
crystal ball sees a coin being tossed and coming down on a Winnipeg win.
Jets compound Jackets’ miseries with a 4-2 victory.