Columbus Blue Jackets (45-30-7) at Washington Capitals (49-26-7)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 12, 2018, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Washington Capitals -150 / Columbus Blue Jackets +130 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Columbus Blue Jackets open the NHL postseason with a trip to the Capital One Arena to face the Washington Capitals.
The Columbus Blue Jackets head in to the postseason hoping to keep the games top offense over the final four weeks going. Columbus was average at the offensive end for the first half of the season but have since picked up the pace behind Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson.
The Blue Jackets had been a team that needed to control the scoreboard early on but the offense was prolific as the season drew to a close and if that trend continues goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will be the key. Bobrovsky went 37-22-6 with a .921 save percentage and 2.42 GAA to give Columbus firepower at both ends of the ice.
The Washington Capitals possessed the best record in the game in 2016-17 but the makeup of the team changed entering the year and the team needed a late hot streak to ward off challenges to their supremacy in the Metropolitan. Washington was still one of the top scoring teams at 3.1 goals but the team allowed 2.9 goals (#16).
The Capitals are still dangerous at the offensive end behind Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov so the goaltending might determine this team’s success. Braden Holtby won 34 games with a 2.99 GAA but Philipp Grubauer owns a 2.35 GAA in 35 games and might be the Caps best net minder.
Over is 4-0 in Blue Jackets last 4 vs. Metropolitan and over is 6-0 in Blue Jackets last 6 overall and over is 6-0 in Blue Jackets last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Over is 5-0 in Capitals last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest and over is 7-1-1 in Capitals last 9 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game and Capitals are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Metropolitan. Blue Jackets are 0-4 in the last 4 meetings in Washington and Blue Jackets are 1-6 in the last 7 meetings and over is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Washington hasn’t been able to advance to round two since Ovechkin has been with the team and Columbus hasn’t been to the playoffs consistently. I think the price is steep for Washington and I‘d rather go small on Columbus or sit this out…