Columbus Blue Jackets (21-23-3) at Tampa Bay Lightning (31-15-4)
|Date & Time||Saturday January 31, 2015, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -215 / Columbus Blue Jackets +193 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Blue Jackets look to get back in the win column as they take to the road to face off against the Atlantic division leading Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Blue Jackets looked as though they were turning a corner heading into the all-star break and continued that success in their first game back from it against the Washington Capitals but they were upended in their last game and are back to the drawing board moving forward. The Jackets were dealt a serious blow when former Vezina winner Sergei Bobrvosky was knocked out of the lineup and his timetable for return is still up in the air leaving Columbus' faint playoff hopes on life support and now they head into Tampa to take on one of the league's best teams. Curtis McElhinney has taken over as the team's number one and while he has been decent in relief he faces a tough Tampa Bay team here loaded with offensie dpeth and it could make for a long night for both he and the Blue jackets coaching staff.
Tampa has been as impressive as any team in the league this season and after thrashing the Red Wings in their divisional show down this week the Bolts took over sole possession of top spot in the Atlantic though the Canadiens do have three games in hand. Tampa has a ton of weapons up front led of course by Steven Stamkos but they have been so well balanced this season and possess the league's most potent offensive attack but their blue line and goaltending is strong as well and they should very well be a shoe in to make the playoffs. Tampa is pretty heavily favoured here as they should be and while I don't like putting teams on auto fade especially when the value is there I just don't see any other outcome of this game other than a Tampa victory and a big one at that. Too much fire power and not enough to prevent it from happening from the Jackets.