January 21, 2017

NHL Hockey Betting: Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Islanders

NHL Hockey Betting:  Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Islanders&h=253&w=372&zc=1

The Columbus Blue Jackets have been struggling to find any type of momentum since the end of their long winning streak. They’re 5-5-0 in their last ten games but they have won two straight. They’ll really need to be at their best to keep pace with the Washington Capitals who have taken over first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Caps have taken points in 14 straight games during which they’re 12-0-2. They’ve shown that they can keep playing at that level for an extended period of time and it’s not hard to have a team get away from the rest of the division when they are.

They’ll take on the last place team in the Metropolitan Division here as they travel to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to face the New York Islanders. The Islanders have had little to show for their coaching change–they’re still in last place, two points back of Carolina and New Jersey who are tied for 6th and 7th. The Islanders aren’t playing badly–they’ve taken points in 8 of their last ten games–but they’ll need to substantially raise their level of play if they’re going to move up to the ‘lead pack’ in their division. They need 16 points to catch the fourth place New York Rangers. This isn’t impossible as we’ve seen teams do it before but it isn’t easy and the only way to do it is for a team to start a lengthy winning and/or points streak.

One of the biggest components of this matchup could be the Blue Jackets’ ability to take care of inferior teams and the Islanders’ inability to raise their game when facing winning teams. The Blue Jackets are 15-6 against opponents with losing records for +8.6 units. They’re also 8-3 against divisional rivals and are good at sustaining positive offensive momentum–they’re 14-3 after scoring 4+ goals in their previous game. The Islanders are 7-14 -5.2 units against opponents with winning records and 4-9 -3.4 units against divisional rivals. No confirmation of the goaltending assignments at this point but it’ll most likely be Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky against the Islanders’ Thomas Greiss. That’s a mismatch. The Islanders have won 7 of the last 10 head to head but the Blue Jackets thumped them 6-2 in the only matchup of this season.