Columbus Blue Jackets at Carolina Hurricanes Game Preview
The Blue Jackets continue looking for more consistency, and this flaw could end up costing them a chance to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Columbus has just 29 points on the season, and they remain in fifth place nearing the trade deadline.
Carolina just had their eight-game winning streak snapped in a loss to the Detroit Red Wings, but the Hurricanes have clearly been on a roll. This team has picked up 41 points already this season, and they are just one point off of the Central Division lead.
The Carolina Hurricanes are -185 in this matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Special Teams Hurting Blue Jackets
If the Columbus Blue Jackets are going to turn their season around, then it must start with better play on special teams. Columbus is converting on just 16 percent of their attempts on the power play while killing off just 72 percent of their own penalties.
The Blue Jackets are scoring just 2.6 goals per game, and that has forced them to play catch up in a number of games this season. Cam Atkinson leads the team with 11 goals, but Columbus needs to find more offense from all four forward lines.
Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo has done his best to keep the Blue Jackets in most games, and this team is giving up just 3.2 goals per game. The Blue Jackets will need to slow this game down if they want to pull off the upset.
Carolina Doing it All Well
A quick look at the stats explains how the Carolina Hurricanes have emerged as a Stanley Cup title favorite this season. The Hurricanes are scoring 3.32 goals per game while allowing just 2.5 goals per game.
Carolina has done their most damage on the power play, converting on nearly 32 percent of their chances with the man advantage. If the Blue Jackets aren’t disciplined on Thursday night, it will give Carolina a chance to take control.
Goaltender James Reimer has won the most games in net for the Hurricanes, but Carolina has three goaltenders that have played well. Scoring goals against Carolina won’t be easy for the Blue Jackets.
Just Not Enough Offense
The Blue Jackets have been extremely competitive over the past few weeks, but it has led to a number of disappointing losses. Carolina presents a very difficult challenge, but the Blue Jackets should be able to keep this game close.
The Hurricanes have the ability to score goals in a hurry, and there is a reason that they are a Stanley Cup favorite. Playing this game in Carolina is another tough blow for Columbus, and there is a reason that they are the underdogs.
Columbus has the talent to pull off this victory, but it’s hard to see them scoring enough goals to keep up with the explosive Hurricanes. The Blue Jackets are simply running out of time to get this season turned around.
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