The Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars are all fighting for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, which means Thursday’s meeting between the Blue Jackets and Stars is quite monumental. The Stars and Blue Jackets have just two games remaining and if the Stars lose, they will be eliminated. If the Blue Jackets lose, their chances will decrease as well.
Record: 141-158 (-544)
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The Columbus Blue Jackets can win because…
They have been one of the league’s best teams over the last couple of weeks. The Blue Jackets looked liked they’d be dead in the water entering April. On March 29th, they were 13-14-7. However, they’ve won nine of 12 and have been one of the most profitable teams to add to your NHL picks.
What’s more impressive about the Blue Jackets is that they’ve done most of their damage on the road. Their visit to Dallas will wrap up a five-game road trip and the Blue Jackets have won four of their first five games. They have wins in Minnesota, Colorado, Anaheim and San Jose, and their lone loss was a 2-1 shortcoming in Los Angeles. With Sergei Bobrovsky playing like a Vezina winner and the team playing with plenty of confidence, they’ll have a great chance to win in Dallas on Thursday.
The Dallas Stars can win because…
They need this game more. The Blue Jackets are three points head in the standings, so technically speaking, they can lose and be just fine whereas the Stars need a win or they’re done.
The Blue Jackets could be gassed for this game. We’ve seen this many times that teams who go on long road trips are fatigued in the final spot. The Blue Jackets have been on the road for 12 days. The Stars have won three straight at home and should be able to extend that streak if the Blue Jackets are running on empty.
Outlook & Pick
There’s no way I’m laying juice with the Stars here on the NHL odds. Sure, they’re at home but they are just 11-11 at home this season. Overall, they have lost three straight and four of five, and now have to host a team that’s on fire. I’ll take the Blue Jackets as a road dog in this spot.
Free NHL Pick: Blue Jackets +114 at Pinnacle
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