Columbus Blue Jackets at Carolina Hurricanes Match Preview
After a brief stop at home for one game, the Columbus Blue Jackets are back out on the road. This time the Blue Jackets will be in Carolina on Saturday for a matchup with the mighty Hurricanes.
Columbus snapped a brutal nine-game losing streak on Thursday night, but it wasn’t easy to get it done. The Blue Jackets are in the last place in the Central Division with 42 points, and this has been a forgettable season.
Carolina comes into Saturday with 73 points on the season, and that has them on top of the Division with only a few games remaining. The Hurricanes have gone 4-2 in their last six games, and this team is looking to gain momentum before the playoff push begins.
The Blue Jackets are a massive underdog on Saturday as the Hurricanes are -290 on the money line. The over/under for total goals scored is set at 5.5.
Columbus Falling Flat on Offense
The Blue Jackets continue to struggle to score goals, coming into Saturday, averaging just 2.33 goals per game. Columbus didn’t score a goal in the 65 minutes of action against Detroit but were able to win the game in shootout fashion.
This team has scored on less than 15 percent of their attempts on the power play, and that lack of production has hurt the team overall. The Blue Jackets are also giving up nearly 3.3 goals per game, and that has caused plenty of blowout losses of late.
There isn’t much that the Blue Jackets have done right this season, especially in the month of April.
Hurricanes Great on Special Teams
The Carolina Hurricanes have not had any trouble converting on the power play, as they have cashed in nearly 28 percent of the time. Carolina has also killed off nearly 85 percent of their own penalties, and this is a big reason that they lead the Central Division.
Sebastian Aho and Dougie Hamilton have done the most damage for Carolina on offense, but this team is loaded with talent. Aho leads the team with 21 goals and also has 31 assists along with Hamilton.
Carolina has also held opponents to just 2.4 goals per game, and they could keep the Blue Jackets off the board on Saturday.
Hurricanes Not Slowing Down
This has the feel of a “trap game” for the Carolina Hurricanes, but nothing has tripped them up this season. Carolina has been overwhelming teams with their offensive attack all season long, and the same could happen on Saturday.
The only chance that the Blue Jackets have is to slow the pace down in this game, but that’s not easy to do. Columbus was able to end its long losing streak with a win over Detroit, but the competition is now much tougher again.
There are surprises every night in the National Hockey League, but this one feels pretty clear as to who is the best team. Columbus would need to play one of its best games of the season just to keep this one close.
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