Philadelphia Flyers (25-19-6) at Columbus Blue Jackets (25-20-4)
|Date & Time||Thursday January 23, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Columbus Blue Jackets -131 / Philadelphia Flyers +119 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The red hot Blue Jackets aim for their eighth straight victory on Thursday night as they host the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers have turned a corner after a sloppy start to the year had skeptics grinning from ear to ear and while they are all but certainly out of possibly clinching the division they are right in the mix for a playoff spot and if they can close out the year strong they should be there come April. Philadellphia is a team that can make some noise against some of the game’s best teams if given the opportunity and with the talent they have on their roster it would be a shame to see them on the outside looking in for a second straight year. Claude Giroux has played like a man possessed after getting snubbed by the Canadian Olympic team and while the Flyers did lose their last game they still sit two points up on their opponents tonight. Steve Mason is slated to get the start as he goes up against Sergei Bobrovsky for Columbus who has been spectacular of late.
The Blue Jackets came into this season with sky high expectations after finishing the second half of last year with one of the game’s best records but a slow start had the fan base concerned. However, things are finally taking shape in Columbus as they are the hottest team in the league having won seven straight games and have skyrocketed up the Metropolitan standings to within three points of second place. The Jackets acquired Nathan Horton in the offseason to add to a forward unit led by Marian Gaborik and while the two haven’t played too much together due to injury and the like they certainly give the Jackets some leadership up front and some legitimate scoring options. Bobrovsky has been lights out lately and Columbus has been ridiculous to watch in their seven game streak I am actually on the other side in this one for one reason: Steve Mason. The former Jackets goaltender was cast aside by his former team and now that he has reclaimed his form with a new team I think he will come in and play a very solid game against his former club.