The Columbus Blue Jackets and the New York Islanders meet in NHL action from the UBS Arena on Thursday night.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to snap a four-game losing skid after a 4-3 loss to the Islanders last time out. Patrik Laine leads the Blue Jackets in scoring with 51 points and Oliver Bjorkstrand has 50 points with Laine logging a team-high 25 goals and Bjorkstrand chipping in 24 goals and 26 assists. Jakub Voracek’s also got 49 points with a team-high 44 assists. Boone Jenner’s also got 44 points with 23 goals and 21 apples this season. Elvis Merzlikins has seen the majority of Columbus’ action in goal, going 22-16-5 with a 3.40 GAA and a .902 save percentage this season.
The New York Islanders will look to build on their win over Columbus last time out to split their last six games. Brock Nelson leads the Islanders in scoring with 48 points including a team-high 32 goals while Mathew Barzal has 44 points with 12 goals and a team-high 32 assists. Anders Lee has 40 points with 25 goals and Noah Dobson’s got 38 points with 28 assists. Ilya Sorokin has gone 22-14-7 with a 2.30 GAA and a .927 save percentage this season.
Columbus is 0-4 in their last 4 games overall and 1-6 in their last 7 games against the Eastern Conference while the over is 3-0-1 in their last 4 games played on 1 day’s rest. New York is 6-1 in their last 7 home games and 5-1 in their last 6 games played on 1 day’s rest while the over is 5-1-1 in their last 7 games as a home favorite.
I get the allure of backing an underdog with heavy juice with the Islanders as the alternative, but the thing here is that the Columbus Blue Jackets have been scuffling right now and the Islanders have to take advantage of certain spots to make the most of their games in hand that COVID gave them. I think this is one of those spots, so I’ll take the Islanders in regulation to get the heavy price down to something more manageable.