Three games into a pivotal seven-game road trip, the Canucks are already wishing they were back in Vancouver. They’ll look for their first win on the trek as they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night in the first of two meetings between the teams this season. Vancouver has lost five straight overall, and have scored just five goals in road losses to Toronto, Montreal and Washington. The Blue Jackets are coming off a 3-1 defeat in Buffalo.
Canucks vs. Blue Jackets Betting Analysis
The host Blue Jackets have the edge in this one – and with the way both teams have handled bounce-backs from poor offensive efforts, that advantage might be even bigger than bettors realize. Columbus has won 14 of its previous 18 games when scoring two or fewer goals in its previous contest, while Vancouver has lost four of five in that same situation. The Canucks do, however, have wins in four of their previous five visits to Columbus.
The teams also diverge when it comes to recent totals trends. The Canucks have gone above the total in seven of their previous nine road games, and are 10-4 O/U in their previous 14 games overall. The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, have been one of the league’s strongest under plays of late, going below the total in six consecutive games. The under has converted in 12 of their previous 17 head-to-head meetings, and eight of the last nine at Nationwide Arena.
The Canucks are quickly running out of time to make inroads in the Western Conference playoff picture – and as they have been for the majority of the season season, the offense and goaltending have been equally to blame. Vancouver comes into this one ranked 28th in the NHL in goals per game (2.6) and 27th in goals allowed (3.3), joining the sad-sack Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes as teams ranking in the bottom five in the league in both categories.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets are mired in their own offensive struggles, having produced just eight goals through the first five games of 2018. And while that has been a welcome sight for under bettors, it leaves Columbus having to rely a little too heavily on netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, who ranks 10th among qualified netminders in goals-against average (2.39). The Columbus power play remains a major sore spot, ranked 30th in the NHL in overall efficiency at 13 percent.
Canucks vs. Blue Jackets Prediction