12:30 P.M. – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25
Bally Sports Ohio
ESPN+ (Out of Market)
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER MONEYPUCK: 30%|
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER THE 538: 39%|
|CAESAR'S SPORTSBOOK: EDM -240|
The Columbus Blue Jackets' earliest start of the season comes Saturday when they face the Edmonton Oilers in a 12:30 puck drop at Nationwide Arena.
The Blue Jackets saw an end to their brief three-game point streak in a shutout loss Thursday night to the Minnesota Wild. Two goals from the Wild in the first period were enough, despite 30 shots on goal from Columbus for the game.
Goals should come Saturday both for the Blue Jackets and the Oilers, though. They're two of the four teams that are yet to shut out an opponent this season, the Oilers have only been shut out twice this season, and the Blue Jackets haven't been shut out in consecutive games since December of 2008.
The Oilers will also be looking for a measure of revenge, as the Blue Jackets won in Alberta last month in overtime in the team's first meeting of the season.
Here's what to know for the second (and final) battle of the season between Columbus and Edmonton:
|OILERS: LAST THREE GAMES|
|SUN, 2/19||@ Avalanche||OTL, 6-5|
|TUE, 2/21||vs. Flyers||W, 4-2|
|THU, 2/23||@ Penguins||W, 7-2|
|OILERS: TEAM LEADERS|
TALKING POINTS: OILERS
Connor McDavid's video game-like season continues. In 59 games, the league-leader in scoring has 46 goals (1st), 63 assists (1st), and a whopping 109 points (1st, of course). He has 22 more points than anyone else in the league, and at 87 points (35 goals/52 assists), the man in second is teammate Leon Draisaitl.
In large part because of McDavid and Draisaitl (who have 39 of Edmonton's 66 power play goals) this season) the Oilers have the best power play in the league by a huge margin. Their 32.2% conversion rate leads any other team in the league by more than 6% and, if it holds, would be the highest power play percentage for a team in NHL history. The current record-holders for that are the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens, at 31.9%.
- Jack Campbell and Stuart Skinner are the Edmonton goalie tandem, but neither are having a season worth writing home about. The two have combined for a .901 save percentage and 3.13 goals against average. Along with an inconsistent defense, this is the reason that the offensively gifted Oilers aren't thought of as a team with a real chance to win the Stanley Cup.
TALKING POINTS: CBJ
For those who enjoy weird trends, check this one out: the Blue Jackets have been shut out six times this year. In the game after the first shutout, Columbus managed just one goal. It was the same result following the second shutout. They scored two goals after in the game after their third shutout, three goals after the fourth shutout, and four goals following shutout number five. Following Thursday's shutout, the Blue Jackets ability to show resiliency could come through.
- Losses are never fun. But as you watch Saturday's game, keep an eye on Connor McDavid. For every game the Blue Jackets lose from here out, it helps the odds that Columbus ends up with Connor Bedard — who shares more than just a first name with the best player in the league. That's not to say that one should actively root against Columbus, but consider it anytime that the Blue Jackets do add to the "L" column.
PROJECTED CBJ LINES
Updated: 7:05 a.m. // Subject to Change
|13||Johnny Gaudreau||38||Boone Jenner||86||Kirill Marchenko|
|91||Kent Johnson||96||Jack Roslovic||29||Patrik Laine|
|19||Liam Foudy||34||Cole Sillinger||52||Emil Bemstrom|
|50||Eric Robinson||7||Sean Kuraly||24||Mathieu Olivier|
|75||Tim Berni||44||Eric Gudbranson|
|77||Nick Blankenburg||2||Andrew Peeke|
|15||Gavin Bayreuther||27||Adam Boqvist|
|90||Elvis Merzlikins||90||Joonas Korpisalo|