NHL Picks: Anaheim Bounce Back Game at Home Against Blue Jackets

David Lawrence

Friday, November 6, 2015 12:01 PM GMT

Friday, Nov. 6, 2015 12:01 PM GMT

The Anaheim Ducks have shown signs they are close to turning their season around with back-to-back wins. Can they stay hot, and be our NHL pick when they host the Blue Jackets?

Momentum
The Ducks certainly face an uphill climb after losing nine of their first 10 games to open the season but they put together an impressive 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Sunday and then rallied for a 3-2 shootout win over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night to make it back-to-back wins for the first time all year. Now they can wrap up a three-game home stand with a third straight win before making the short trip to San Jose for a clash with the Sharks.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets hope they can follow Anaheim’s lead and turn their season around after bouncing back from consecutive losses with a 5-2 win over the Sharks on Tuesday night. Columbus certainly has the offensive firepower and talent to be a playoff contender but they too are trying to climb out of a hole after dropping eight straight regulation losses to open the year as they clash with the Ducks less than 24 hours after they battled the Los Angeles Kings.

 

Projected Starting Goalies
One of the biggest problems for the Blue Jackets early on has been their lack of consistency between the pipes as Sergei Bobrovsky has really struggled and Curtis McElhinney hasn’t been much better. Columbus is playing its second game in as many nights so whichever goalie doesn’t start on Thursday against the Kings should be between the pipes on Friday against the Ducks.

Meanwhile, if there is one area that has been a strength for Anaheim all season it is in goal where Frederik Andersen has produced a sparking 2.03 GAA and .934 save percentage despite a 2-5-2 record. Andersen will likely be back between the pipes on Friday night although considering the Ducks play in San Jose on Saturday there is still a chance that Anton Khudobin will get the nod with no confirmation on the team’s plan for its goalies available yet.

 

Outlook
The NHL odds aren’t up as of yet but considering the struggles of the Blue Jackets’ goaltenders to this point, there is a good chance that Anaheim will have the edge in that department regardless of which goalies get the nod. The key could still be offense and the Ducks’ ability to get four lines rolling at the same time. Losing Ryan Getzlaf to an emergency appendectomy certainly hurts but the Ducks have averaged 3.0 goals per game over back-to-back wins and as long as they continue to play a tough game at both ends of the ice, they should be able to continue to find ways to win. A little confidence and momentum will help their case after coming back to beat Florida only a couple of nights after their win over Nashville. With four of their next five games on home ice, the window is open for them to climb out of the early hole they have dug themselves in continuing with a favorable matchup with Columbus on Friday night. Take them with your NHL picks.

NHL Pick: Ducks -155 at 5Dimes

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