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Columbus Blue Jackets Weekly Betting Notebook: Colossal Collapse in Carolina
The calendar has flipped over to 2022, marking roughly a little more than a third of the way through the NHL regular season. At 15-14-1, the Blue Jackets are tied for sixth place in a crowded Metropolitan Division, but to their credit, they’ve got games in hand on every division foe.
Columbus will need to turn things on the rest of the season, as their current pace would put them on track for a 41-38-3 record. The way the Eastern Conference is shaping up, 85 points won’t be enough to make the playoffs this season, though it’s nice to see that mark above the 78 points projected at the beginning of the season.
According to MoneyPuck.com, the Blue Jackets have a 14.8% chance of making the playoffs this season.
Let’s take a look at what happened last week and where Columbus could gain ground in this week’s installment of the Blue Jackets Weekly Notebook.
Picking Up Points in Nashville
After a full two weeks off due to the COVID-19 pause, Columbus needed a period to get back up to speed. But after finding their footing, the Blue Jackets rallied in the third period before winning in the shootout 4-3. Gustav Nyquist scored the winner, but a goal from Alexandre Texier stole the show.
Texier has picked up his game this season and now has 11 goals and eight assists in 30 games. He’s one of 10 Blue Jackets to have played in every game so far this season.
“It’s always nice to score some goals and help the team win,” Texier said. “We have to find a way to get two points, and that’s what we did.”
The Nashville game was also Patrik Laine’s first game back in the lineup after missing 19 games with an oblique strain. He also returned to his native Finland to be with family after the sudden passing of his father, Harri. Patrik scored a goal in his return and led the team with seven shots on goal.
“That was probably one of the only games my dad’s never seen me play, so it was definitely emotional before the game,” Laine said. “I tried to make him proud. I know he always wished for me to work hard every time I go out there. That was kind of my mentality tonight. It was nice to be back.”
Epic Collapse Against Carolina
The Blue Jackets appeared to be on cruise control against the first-place Hurricanes through the first 29 minutes, jumping out to a 4-0 lead. But as can sometimes happen when you let off the gas, the wheels fell off. Carolina rattled off seven unanswered goals to crush Columbus’ hopes of an upset.
“When it was 4-0, I never felt comfortable with how that game was played,” Jackets head coach Brad Larsen said. “They kept coming and we didn’t have an answer to it.”
Danila Tarasov left the game after the second period with a lower-body injury after stopping 31 of 33 shots. Elvis Merzlikins struggled after coming into the game cold, letting in four goals in the third before Carolina iced the win with an empty netter.
This game was the first in Blue Jackets history where they suffered a loss after holding a four-goal lead. It’s also the third time Columbus has blown a lead of at least three goals this season.
Weekly Matchup Previews
Tuesday, January 4
Tampa Bay Lightning (21-8-5) at Columbus Blue Jackets (14-13-1)
7:00 PM Eastern, Nationwide Arena
Tampa Bay Special Teams
Power Play: 19/105 (18.1%), 19th in NHL
Penalty Kill: 79/100 (79%), tied for 20th in NHL
Columbus Special Teams
Power Play: 13/76 (17.1%), tied for 22nd in NHL
Penalty Kill: 64/81 (79%), tied for 20th in NHL
Tampa Bay Players to Watch
Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy: 17-5-3, 2.21 GAA, .925 save %, two shutouts,
Defenseman Victor Hedman: seven goals, 27 assists in 34 games
Center Steven Stamkos: 16 goals, 23 assists in 31 games.
Thursday, January 6
Columbus Blue Jackets at New Jersey Devils (13-15-5)
7:00 PM Eastern, Prudential Center
New Jersey Special Teams
Power Play: 13/90 (14.4%), tied for 30th in NHL
Penalty Kill: 77/95 (81.1%), 15th in NHL
New Jersey Players to Watch
Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood: 8-6-3, 3.22 GAA, .897 save %, two shutouts
Defenseman Dougie Hamilton: seven goals, 13 assists in 30 games
Left Wing Jesper Bratt: nine goals, 20 assists in 32 games.
Saturday, January 8
New Jersey Devils at Columbus Blue Jackets
7:00 PM Eastern, Nationwide Arena
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