Winnipeg Jets vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick & Prediction JANUARY 9th 2024

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The Winnipeg Jets will look to stay red-hot when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

The Jets enter the game on a torrid pace and setting franchise records, currently rolling through a six-game winning streak and a 12-game points streak.

Center Mark Scheifele cannot find many negatives in his team’s play as it sits atop the NHL standings with 56 points entering Monday, two points ahead and holding the tiebreaker on the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins.

“A lot of good efforts. Four lines, six D, two goalies playing awesome,” Scheifele said when asked about his team’s position in the standings as of Sunday, following a clinical 6-2 win at Arizona. “A lot of good efforts each and every night, and when some guys don’t have it, other guys pick them up. You know, it’s been a special ride so far.”

Winnipeg’s run has been driven by their dominance outside of special teams. The Jets lead the league in 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio at 1.72.

“We just emphasize the team game. We emphasize pressure all over the ice. We emphasize as soon as they get in the zone, get on them as quick as we can,” coach Rick Bowness said on the team’s messaging pushing them forward. “We just emphasize pressure as much as we can, all over, so they’re not carrying the puck in. They’re not going east or west on us, so they’re not making plays. Tonight, we were right on.”

One area of improvement for the Jets is on specialty teams. They’re 23rd in the league on the power play at 17.65 percent and 26th on the penalty kill at only a 75.22 percent success rate.

Columbus will try to take advantage of that in facing Winnipeg for the first of two meetings this season.

The Blue Jackets are reeling, 3-3-4 over their last 10, with their struggles bubbling to the surface following a 4-3 overtime loss to Minnesota on Saturday night, squandering a hat trick from forward Cole Sillinger.

“You can’t feel sorry for yourself, right? We’re all in it together. We all go through our highs and lows together. We’re a team, we’re a family in here,” Sillinger said on Saturday. “We’re going to keep fighting. There is no other way out of this.”

The 28th-placed Blue Jackets are on pace for their fourth losing season in a row, and have seen plenty of points slip away, with nine losses in extra time.

“I think we’re getting more frustrated,” coach Pascal Vincent said Saturday.

“They can almost touch that win,” Vincent continued. “I really like the character of our team and bouncing back from those moments. But the more you’re involved and the more you put into something, when it doesn’t work, the more (upset) you are.”

David Gustafsson, Kyle Connor, Rasmus Kupari and Ville Heinola will remain out for the Jets on injured reserve. The ailing Blue Jackets will also continue to miss Patrik Laine, Sean Kuraly, Boone Jenner, Nick Blankenburg and Zach Werenski with injuries.

–Field Level Media

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