NHL Hockey Betting: Edmonton Oilers at Columbus Blue Jackets

NHL Hockey Betting:  Edmonton Oilers at Columbus Blue Jackets

One of the things I hate the most about the mainstream sports media is their lack of accountability. A perfect example of that is on display here. When the Columbus Blue Jackets hired veteran coach John Tortorella there were plenty of skeptics and few ‘believers’. Even after he completed a season with the injury decimated team the criticism continued–the narrative was always that the Blue Jackets would have to find a ‘real coach’ better qualified to ‘deal with today’s players’ than the notoriously hard headed ‘Torts’. Those skeptics are hard to find now because–spoiler alert–things have worked out well for Tortorella in his first full season with Columbus. The Jackets have the best record in the NHL and enter this game on a downright insane *15 game winning streak*. If that sounds like an absurd number of consecutive wins amid the parity that is the National Hockey League it’s because it is. Columbus is now two wins away from tying the longest winning streak in NHL history held by the 1992-1993 Pittsburgh Penguins. A win tonight will give them sole possession of second place, surpassing the 15 wins of the 1982-83 New York Islanders and the 2012-2013 Penguins.

Perfect storyline as the league’s next marquee star (assuming he isn’t that already) Connor McDavid leads his Edmonton Oilers into Nationwide Arena. Do they have a shot at beating Columbus or are they just the latest team to jump in front of the speeding semi truck? On one hand, they’ve taken points in 8 of their last 10 games. Of course that doesn’t look particularly impressive against a team that has taken 30 points from their past 15 games. They’ve been solid on the road this year (10-5-5) but are facing a team that is 14-3-1 at home (not to mention 12-2-3 on the road). At least defenseman Andrej Sekera is likely to be back tonight after missing time due to an illness. They will be without scrappy forward Tyler Pitlick (out several months with a knee injury) and he’s precisely the type of player they need to win this game.

Just can’t fade the Jackets until they give me a good reason to do so. The 15 game winning streak is impressive enough but Columbus is 23-2-3 since November 1. That’s no joke.