7:00 P.M. – THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14
Bally Sports Ohio
ESPN+ Power Play
|ODDS & PROJECTIONS:|
|ODDS OF CBJ WIN PER MONEYPUCK: 46%|
|ARZ PLAYOFF ODDS PER MONEYPUCK: 40%|
|TIPICO SPORTSBOOK: CBJ +100|
A team can't make the playoffs in November, but they sure can find themselves all but out of it by Thanksgiving.
For the Columbus Blue Jackets, Thursday's game against the Arizona Coyotes begins a key stretch of games to avoid a second consecutive season of falling into the "out of it" category.
Columbus' losing streak hit six games Tuesday in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, keeping the Blue Jackets in the eastern conference basement at 12 points in 16 games. The only other team with fewer than 14 points in the east are the Ottawa Senators, whose 12 points have come in just 13 games.
When the Coyotes come to Nationwide Arena, it's the first of four very winnable games for the Blue Jackets. Mathematically, there's no "must have" games this early in the season, but it sure does feel like Columbus needs to win at least three of the four to have a realistic chance at staying involved in any potential postseason chase.
Here's what else to know in advance of puck-drop in the Arena District:
|COYOTES LAST THREE GAMES|
|THU, 11/9||@ Blues||L, 2-1|
|SAT, 11/11||@ Predators||W, 7-5|
|TUE, 11/14||@ Stars||OTL, 4-3|
|COYOTES TEAM LEADERS|
TALKING POINTS: ARZ
It's a winnable game, for sure, but the Coyotes aren't necessarily a "should win" game as they have been in years past. Arizona is off to a 7-6-2 start on the season and just one point from a wild card spot at this stage of the season. One benefit for Columbus? Arizona is in the fourth leg of a five-game road trip, so heavy legs could become a factor for the visitors.
Part of the Yotes success this season is from Clayton Keller, who feels like one of the more underrated players in the league. The 25-year-old leads Arizona in goals (7) and points (16), and is worth the price of admission to watch. But keep an eye on Logan Cooley, too. The rookie who went third overall in 2022 has 10 assists in his first 15 games, and seven of those have been the primary assist. He has just one goal, but has been robbed on multiple occasions and his expected goals is 3x his actual output. Early, yes, but his numbers should be even better than 11 points in 15 games.
- Another reason for Arizon's early-season success? The power play. They've converted on the man-advantage in six straight games and have at least one power play goal in 12 of their 15 games. Their 29.8% conversion rate is 5th in the NHL, and ranks higher than teams including Toronto, Edmonton, Carolina, and Boston.
TALKING POINTS: CBJ
The Blue Jackets lost Jack Roslovic to a fractured ankle Sunday, and another forward was withdrawn from the equation Wednesday when the team put Emil Bemstrom on waivers. This may be a sign that Kent Johnson is on his way back to Columbus, but for Thursday, it seems more likely that Mathieu Olivier — a healthy scratch Tuesday — draws back into the lineup.
It feels like Johnny Gaudreau is on the verge of his first non-empty net goal of the season. He had a few good looks in Tuesday's loss but couldn't bury the proverbial biscuit. For the season, Gaudreau sits at 3.4 expected goals. That ranks just ahead of Justin Danforth (four goals on 3.3 expected goals), Alexandre Texier (three goals; 3.0 expected), and the aforementioned Bemstrom (three goals, 2.8 expected).
- PK update: Columbus' 89.4% penalty kill percentage ranks third in the NHL, and they're now at 22 straight kills over nine straight games. Both are four-year highs, as it was the 2018-19 season when Columbus last went 9+ games or 22+ kills without allowing a goal. The next high-water marks? Eleven games and/or 28 kills, the highs from that season.
Updated: 7:05 a.m.
Subject to Change
|59||Yegor Chinakhov||38||Boone Jenner||29||Patrik Laine|
|10||Dmitri Voronkov||11||Adam Fantilli||86||Kirill Marchenko|
|13||Johnny Gaudreau||4||Cole Sillinger||17||Justin Danforth|
|42||Alexandre Texier||7||Sean Kuraly||24||Mathieu Olivier|
|8||Zach Werenski||44||Erik Gudbranson|
|9||Ivan Provorov||78||Damon Severson|
|27||Adam Boqvist||2||Andrew Peeke|
|90||Elvis Merzlikins||30||Spencer Martin|