Calgary Flames (0-0-0) at Columbus Blue Jackets (0-0-0)
|Date & Time||Friday October 4, 2013, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Columbus Blue Jackets -200 / Calgary Flames +181 --- Over/Under: 5
The Calgary Flames play their second game in as many nights as they travel from Washington to Columbus to take on the Jackets playing in their season opener.
The Flames raced out to a 4-0 lead against the high octane Washington Capitals at the Verizon Centre last night but in typical Calgary fashion they blew the massive lead and dropped the second point by losing in a shootout to open up the season. Calgary has very little expectation from an outsider’s perspective this season as they lost two huge pieces of their roster and are likely in the running for a top three draft pick in April’s draft but for two periods last night they did look like a team who can contend. Calgary has to erase the image of blowing a four goal lead as they travel to Columbus to take on a Blue Jackets team who surprised many last season and who are looking towards a playoff berth this season. Karri Ramo is likely to get the start for the second night in a row as the Flames are very thin between the pipes.
The Blue Jackets lost the services of long time captain Rick Nash last season as he left for greener pastures in the Big Apple but the Jackets got the last laugh as they took Marian Gaborik away from the Blue Shirts at the trade deadline and added former Bruins forward Nathan Horton in the offseason making for a pretty solid start to the nucleus of Columbus’ forward unit. Add in the likes of Brandon Dubinksy, Nick Foligno, Artem Anisimov, and rookies Ryan Johansen and Boone Jenner and the Jackets have a lot to look forward to if not this season than not too far off in the future. Columbus also has Jack Johnson, Ryan Murray, and James Wiesniewski, and goaltender Sergei Bobrvosky, fresh off his Vezina Trophy campaign manning the defensive zone. Columbus to me is a team that will surprise a lot of people this year especially with their move into the Eastern Conference and they catch a Calgary team coming off a heartbreaking loss, and they’re at home to start the season. The line on this game is ridiculous but my bet is on Columbus and I’ll take them in regulation.