27-18-3 (57 points; .594%)
ROSTER / SCHEDULE
9:30 P.M. – WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25
EDMONTON, AB, CANADA
It didn't go well for the Columbus Blue Jackets the last time they were on TNT.
That was December 7th, when they were ambushed by Tage Thompson and the Buffalo Sabres in a 9-4 route at Nationwide Arena.
Wednesday will bring a chance for the Blue Jackets to redeem themselves to a national television audience.
All they've got in front of them? The Edmonton Oilers, who have won six straight games and arguably have two of the five greatest players on the planet today. Easy, right?
Here's what to know when Columbus looks to pull the huge upset north of the border:
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER MONEYPUCK||20%|
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER THE 538||26%|
|CAESAR'S SPORTSBOOK BETTING||EDM -420|
|OILERS: LAST THREE GAMES|
|TUE, 1/17||vs. Kraken||W, 5-2|
|THU, 1/19||vs. Lightning||W, 5-3|
|SAT, 1/21||@ Canucks||W, 4-2|
|OILERS: TEAM LEADERS|
TALKING POINTS: OILERS
No one better exemplifies the need for top draft picks better than Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid, the top overall pick in 2015, has already dipped into 40-goal territory and is on pace for 68 goals this season. Combine that with his 44 assists and pace for 75 apples on the year, and McDavid is in the second half of a season in which he is projected to finish with 143 points.
At least a moderate chunk of that success is because of Draisaitl, the third overall pick in 2014's draft. Draisaitl has 28 goals, 45 assists, and 73 points. That pales in comparison to McDavid, but the duo are the only two NHL'ers with 70 points or more on the season.
It goes beyond McDavid and Draisaitl. There are four players on the Oilers with 56+ points — that's double-digits more than Columbus' Johnny Gaudreau, which leads the team by a country mile. Forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman have 57 and 56 points, respectively.
The Oilers, however, are just clinging to a wild card spot in a tough western conference. Offense is great, but defense is important too — and Edmonton doesn't have enough of it. The goalie rotation of Jack Campbell and Stuart Skinner has been mediocre, and there's no clear number one between the two struggling netminders.
- Defensive issues or not, the Blue Jackets are playing the Oilers at the best they've looked all season. They've won six straight games — five by more than one goal — and have outscored the opposition 31-13 during the run. The power play is 5-for-16 in those games, which seems great if you're a Blue Jackets supporter but is actually the same 31% that Edmonton has averaged for the entire season. It leads the league by nearly 4% over the Boston Bruins, who are second at 27.2%.
AN AUDITION FOR KORPI, GAVY?
As mentioned above, the Oilers need help defensively. We know that they've talked with the Blue Jackets about pending unrestricted free agent Vladisalv Gavrikov. But with the poor play of their goaltenders and the resurgence of Joonas Korpisalo this season, could Korpi be the answer to Edmonton's playoff puzzle?
POWER PLAY OUT OF THE BASEMENT
With three power play goals in six attempts over the last two games, the Blue Jackets are not out of last place in the NHL in the power play's conversion rate. Thank you, Montreal, for stinking at the power play more than Columbus does — at least mathematically.
Updated: 7:05 a.m. // Subject to Change
|13||Johnny Gaudreau||38||Boone Jenner||86||Kirill Marchenko|
|14||Gus Nyquist||96||Jack Roslovic||29||Patrik Laine|
|91||Kent Johnson||34||Cole Sillinger||52||Emil Bemstrom|
|19||Liam Foudy||7||Sean Kuraly||24||Mathieu Olivier|
|4||Vladislav Gavrikov||27||Adam Boqvist|
|75||Tim Berni||44||Eric Gudbranson|
|77||Nick Blankenburg||2||Andrew Peeke|
|90||Elvis Merzlikins||70||Joonas Korpisalo|