Detroit Red Wings @ Columbus Blue Jackets Free NHL Pick 3/28/12
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The Red Wings are really in some danger to slide down the bracket in the Western Conference playoffs. They are probably out of the Central Division race, eight points back of the St. Louis Blues with just six games left to play. That being said, they have the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks on their back, and they could slip down as low as the No. 6 seed in the conference if matters don’t go well over the course of the year. Detroit has been a streaky team all year long, and this could be the beginning of an upswing. It had lost six games in a row before this new recent swing in the right direction. There were 12 goals scored in wins over the Carolina Hurricanes and these Blue Jackets. The problem is that this is a team that still hasn’t played well on the road all season long. A 16-20-3 record away from Joe Louis Arena really could bite this team when the playoffs are said and done with, and winning games like this one would at least help sew up home ice advantage in the first round, something which would be awfully critical.
The Blue Jackets are clearly the worst team in hockey, and they are going to be up against it in this one, especially if they play the way that they did in the 7-2 loss at Joe Louis Arena just two nights ago. The team has now given up 13 goals in its last two games. Columbus ranks No. 28 in the league in total offense at just 2.3 goals per game, and it isn’t all that much better on the other side of the ice either at 3.2 goals per game allowed. That ranks just No. 29 in the NHL. No one on the team has more than the 52 points for Rick Nash on the campaign, and Nash is the only man that has scored even 15 goals on the team. Vinny Prospal only has 48 points to be second on the team, and then comes Derick Brassard, who only has 36 points. Yikes. Steve Mason, who has started 44 games this year, has a terrible 3.43 GAA, one of the worst marks in the entire league.
Detroit Red Wings @ Columbus Blue Jackets Pick: This is probably as good as the Super Bowl for the Jackets, and they are going to want to win this one more than any other game left in the season. With as badly as Detroit has played on the road, we just don’t think that it is going to be able to get the job done, even against the poor Blue Jackets.
Free Hockey Pick: Detroit Red Wings
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