35–11–4 (74 points; .740%)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
7:00 P.M. – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25TH
Bally Sports Ohio
ESPN+ (Out Of Market)
The Columbus Blue Jackets are halfway through the toughest four-game stretch of the season — and have a pair of impressive wins to show for it.
The club has a chance to make it a perfect 3-0 Friday night when they travel to Raleigh for a date with the division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.
Entering the week, Columbus had Toronto, Florida, Carolina, and Pittsburgh on the schedule. All four teams were (and still are) in the top eight in the league by point percentage, and with injuries mounting for the Blue Jackets, even the most optimistic of fans had tempered expectations. But the Blue Jackets picked up an overtime victory against the Maple Leafs at home Tuesday, and followed that up with Thursday's 6-3 doubling-up of the Panthers.
The victory briefly put the Blue Jackets just seven points behind the second wildcard spot, but the Boston Bruins overtime win in Seattle late Thursday pushed the Bruins lead back to nine. It's not quite scoreboard-watching time yet, but at 27-23-1, the Blue Jackets are sticking around. A win Friday night would make things even more intriguing.
|PACES & PROJECTIONS|
|19.9%||MONEYPUCK'S ODDS TO WIN||80.1%|
|29.0%||THE 538'S ODDS TO WIN||71.0%|
|88.4||82-GAME POINT PACE||121.3|
The Hurricanes come in on a roll, too. Carolina has won three straight games, including road wins over Metro division rivals Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on back-to-back nights. The winning streak has pushed the Canes to a win percentage of .740, second in the league behind only the Colorado Avalanche.
Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov continue to lead the way behind the Hurricanes winning ways. They're tied with each other for the team lead in goals at 22, and Aho's 53 points puts him atop the Carolina leaderboard in points — five ahead of Svechnikov.
Carolina's 2.42 goals against average is tied with Calgary for the best in the league, but, despite winning games, the Hurricanes have allowed three goals in each of their last five games. Their league-leading penalty kill has still been phenomenal during that stretch though, killing 16 of 17 penalties. Their 89.8% kill rate on the season leads the league by over 4%. In other words, a power play goal would be quite the feat.
Three starts. Three wins. That's been the story for Jean-Francois Berube. With Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo both on injured reserve, it's the Berube show between the Columbus pipes for the foreseeable future. The 30-year-old has a .925 save percentage in his starts and a 2.99 goals against average in his three starts, two of which have come over teams ranked in the top five in goals per game. Carolina's 3.50 per game ranks sixth, but Berube seems up to just about any challenge right now.
OH THANK HEAVEN, FOR 29'S ELEVEN...
...game point streak, that is. What Laine is doing right now is illegal in at least 16 states, and probably a few provinces too. Laine scored again in Thursday's win, extending the second-longest streak of his career to 11 consecutive games with a point. During that span, he has 13 goals, eight assists, is a +7, and is shooting an absurd 36.1%. Laine has missed about a third of the season, but when you're considering the question of team MVP, he's gotta be near the top of the list.
|29||Patrik Laine||38||Boone Jenner||93||Jakub Voracek|
|16||Max Domi||34||Cole Sillinger||59||Yegor Chinakhov|
|14||Gus Nyquist||7||Sean Kuraly||28||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|23||Brendan Gaunce||96||Jack Roslovic||17||Justin Danforth|
|44||Vladislav Gavrikov||2||Andrew Peeke|
|46||Dean Kukan||27||Adam Boqvist|
|5||Gavin Bayreuther||53||Gabriel Carlsson|
|30||Jean-Francois Berube||60||Jet Graves|
*SUBJECT TO CHANGE