Columbus Blue Jackets (29-23-4) at San Jose Sharks (36-16-6)
|Date & Time||Friday February 7, 2014, 10:30 PM (EST)|
|Location||Unknown Location Unknown Address|
The Line: San Jose Sharks -178 / Columbus Blue Jackets +162 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Blue Jackets look for their fourth straight win and jump into a playoff spot in the process as they head into San Jose to face the Sharks on Friday night.
The Blue Jackets are following suit to last year`s strong second half of the season as the Jackets are one of the league`s hottest teams but unlike last year they gave themselves enough breathing room to sneak into the postseason which they could very well pull off down the stretch. Columbus had high expectations coming into the season because of last year`s second half surge as well as having the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Sergei Brobrovsky and while their start to the year indicated a letdown they are starting to play uo to their potential. A huge part of the team`s recent success has to be attributed to the line of Nathan Horton, Boone Jenner, and Ryan Johansen as they have been on fire in the last couple weeks with the latter surpassing the 20-goal plateau and living up to the hype that saw him selected as a top four draft pick a couple years ago. Bobrovsky will likely get the start as he goes up against Antti Niemi for the Sharks.
The Sharks continue to plug their way through the Pacific division and head into tonight`s contest in fourth place in the Western Conference trailing only the division leading Ducks, the Central leading Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues. San Jose is loaded with veteran talent as Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Joe Pavelski lead the crew up front while Dan Boyle and Marc-Eduoard Vlasic anchor a solid blue line that plays as a last line of defense in front of Niemi. San Jose is often criticized for their lack of playoff success and while it has become a cliché to say that this could be the year they will break through this looks as good as any as they have the talent and winning mentality that could carry them deep into the West playoffs. Columbus has been playing very well of late but the Sharks are the better team but I hate the line. I do like the total though as I think we see some goals in this one as both teams have no problems scoring the puck with the Jackets finding a scoring line as we talked about earlier.