Columbus Blue Jackets (40-31-7) at Dallas Stars (38-29-11)
|Date & Time||Wednesday April 9, 2014, 8:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Dallas Stars / Columbus Blue Jackets --- Over/Under:
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Two playoff hopefuls square off in Dallas on Wednesday night as the Jackets and Stars aim to clinch their spots in the postseason.
The Blue Jackets head into Dallas on Wednesday fresh off an overtime victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in what was one of the most exciting and important contests on the slate last night and now they have a chance to inch closer to locking up a spot with a win here against the Stars. Columbus’ victory combined with the Maple Leafs losing to the Lightning officially eliminated the Buds from playoff contention which gives Columbus a little bit of breathing room but they still have to contend with the New Jersey Devils. Columbus has been playing quite well of late and deserve to be in the postseason but with expectations being what they were at the beginning of the season there are still some pessimists that say the Jackets still haven’t done enough this year and will be a one and done in the first round. While that may be the case and is a very likely scenario if they match up against the likes of Boston or Pittsburgh there is still something to say about making the playoffs at all and this would be a huge stepping stone for a rebuilding franchise.
The Stars meanwhile are fighting tooth and nail in the Western Conference and at the time of writing are in a battle with the Nashville Predators who are looking to continue their spoiler role. Dallas doesn’t have nearly as much breathing room as they’re in a dead heat with the Coyotes and while the result is still pending of Tuesday’s encounter with the Preds it looks as though it’ll come down to the final game to decide who sneaks in to the final spot. When comparing these rosters they are both fairly even as their offensive production has come from a select few and both have emerging young snipers in the form of Tyler Seguin for Dallas and Ryan Johansen for Columbus and both teams have solid goaltenders. To me, the Stars would pose more of a threat in the playoffs than the Jackets would but these teams compete in opposite conferences with Dallas being in the much more competitive Western Conference and the Jackets in the seemingly weaker East. Nonetheless both teams are playing to win and will be giving maximal efforts but I think goaltending wins the day here and as such I think this one stays under the total.