Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:35 PM EST.
10:00 PM EST. OT included. The Jackets played last night in Los Angeles and shot out to a 2-0 lead before five unanswered goals buried them in a 5-2 loss. However, the Jackets played good enough to win and the score is a misleading one. Columbus created 32 scoring chances to the Kings’ 24. They held a 56-44 Corsi Advantage and also had a significant 15-9 edge in high danger chances. Prior to losing last night, the Jackets buried Washington 5-1.
Nick Foligno is back with the Jackets. Foligno missed more than a week with a lower body injury suffered against the Penguins back on the 18th of February. He returned to the lineup sooner than expected. Foligno’s return and the additions of Thomas Vanek and Mark Letestu at the trade deadline are significant. The Jackets have looked tougher the past couple of games and they looked very good last night but this market and NHL media puts all the emphasis on results. Combine that with the Jackets playing the tail-end of back-to-backs and we get an inflated price on them here. It’s also worth noting that Bob is in net here after sitting out last night.
There are lots of things working against the Ducks here. First, they haven’t played since Sunday and long layoffs have proven to be difficult spots to come back from. Secondly, the Ducks made insignificant moves at the deadline while the other teams around them (San Jose, Los Angeles) tried hard to improve. We can’t imagine that’s sitting well with the players. GM Bob Murray made lateral moves by bringing Jason Chimera and Chris Kelly in and trading Chris Wagner out. Does it really matter when it comes down two fourth line players, who will play less than 10 minutes a night in 80% of remaining games? There are four teams separated by two points fighting for two playoff spots in the Pacific Division and the Ducks did the least. John Gibson may or may not return tonight but that’s not going to deter us in any way. The Ducks have allowed 44, 38, 41, 38 and 42 shots on net respectively in five of their past six games and there is a good chance they’ll have heavy legs to start.
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Columbus +127 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.54)