Columbus Blue Jackets at Minnesota Wild - 3/26/22 NHL Picks and Prediction

Columbus Blue Jackets at Minnesota Wild - 3/26/22 NHL Picks and Prediction Photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild (38-20-4) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (32-29-3)

Game Info: Saturday, March 26, 2022 at 8:00 pm (Xcel Energy Center)

Betting Odds: Minnesota Wild -256 / Columbus Blue Jackets +204 --- Over/Under: 6.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

The Minnesota Wild host the Columbus Blue Jackets in Saturday NHL Action.

The Columbus Blue Jackets come into this road contest with an overall record of 32-29-3. Through 64 games, the Blue Jackets are 5th in the Metropolitan Division. On the season, they have found the net 211 times, good for a rank of 11th among NHL teams. Heading into the game, Columbus is the 30th ranked defensive team, allowing opponents to score at an average rate of 3.7 goals per game. So far, the Blue Jackets have a strength of schedule rating of 5th in the league. When diving into their opponent-adjusted scoring margin, they come into this game as the 21st ranked team in the NHL.

The Minnesota Wild get set to host the Columbus Blue Jackets with an overall record of 38-20-4. This mark places them 2nd in the Central division. Through 62 games, the Wild have scored 231 goals, giving them an average of 3.65. This output gives them a rank of 4th among NHL teams. On defense, Minnesota is the 17th ranked unit, giving up 3.13 goals per contest. So far, the Wild have played the 26th toughest schedule in the league. And, when taking into account Minnesota's scoring margin relative to the quality of their competition, they come in with a power ranking of 8th in the NHL.

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Through 45 games, the Columbus Blue Jackets goal and overall scoring leader is Patrik Laine with 48 points. He has reached his mark of 25 goals, on a shooting percentage of 19.4%. So far, 16.0% of his goals have come during power play time. Behind him is Oliver Bjorkstrand, who has 26 assists to go along with his 22 goals. However, when on the ice the Blue Jackets are --23 in scoring differential. Columbus's top goalie is Elvis Merzlikins, who is giving up an average of 3.38 goals per game.

Through 61 games, the Minnesota Wild's goal and overall scoring leader is Kirill Kaprizov, with 78 points. He has reached his mark of 33 goals, on a shooting percentage of 15.1%. So far, 21.0% of his goals have come during power play time. Behind him is Mats Zuccarello, who has 44 assists to go along with his 19 goals. While on the ice, his offensive production has led to a plus-minus rating of +18. Minnesota's top goalie is Cam Talbot, who is giving up an average of 2.82 goals per game. In his 40 games played, he has turned in 23 quality starts, giving him a quality start percentage above the league average.

On the season, the Columbus Blue Jackets have a per-game scoring differential of -0.44. Things haven't gone any better on the road as they are losing road games by an average of -0.77 goals. Heading into their game with the Minnesota Wild, the Blue Jackets have a 3-2 record over their past five contests. In these games, they have scored 18 goals, accounting for 46.0% of the overall scoring. A key to this recent success is the fact that they have outscored their usual output of 3.23 goals per game 3 times. In what should be a closely contested matchup, look for the Blue Jackets to pick up the upset win over Minnesota.

 

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Joe’s Pick Blue Jackets +204

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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