Sports Betting Overview

The Pittsburgh Penguins are done competing with the Super Bowl 45 betting fever that gripped the city of Pittsburgh, but that does not mean that the Penguins are catching any breaks. The sports betting bonus world found out that the injury that star center Evgeni Malkin suffered in a recent game against Buffalo is season ending. For the next few weeks it will be no Geno and no Crosby in Pittsburgh.

The Columbus Blue Jackets keep taking one step forward and then two steps back in their attempt to climb the NHL standings into a Western Conference playoff spot. The most recent Columbus move was one step forward as the team is on a two-game winning streak. Now it just needs to avoid the two steps back to push towards a playoff spot.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins are a physical hockey team. It almost looks as though the remaining players in the wake of the Crosby and Malkin injuries feel that intimidation and hard-hitting is the only way they will be successful. Against the Sabres, the Penguins were physical all over the ice and inviting some bad penalties that, luckily for Pittsburgh, were never called. But the Penguins players spent a lot of time picking fights with the Sabres, and targeting the Sabres smaller players for cheap shots. It just doesn’t look like the class act we are used to seeing in Pittsburgh when Crosby and Malkin are not out there.

In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury has been solid lately. He has won three of his last four starts, including a shut-out win over the New York Islanders. He is looking like the Stanley Cup goaltender the Penguins are used to, and they will need him to be big the rest of the season with the uncertainty on the Penguins’ forward lines.

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Jackets have had great goaltending from Steve Mason at times, and then they have had horrible goaltending from Mason. Luckily for the Blue Jackets, lately the goaltending has been excellent. Mason is 3-2 in his last five games and that includes a shut-out of the Detroit Red Wings. The defense in front of Mason has also been playing better of late, and that is helping to keep the goals against down.

The problem for the Blue Jackets all season long has been getting critical goals when needed from top players. The Jackets are in the bottom half of the league in goal scoring, and they have one of the worst power plays in the NHL. This game could be a chance for the Jackets to get themselves back up to speed and start pushing for the playoffs.

The Bottom Line

It is no small feat to shut out the Detroit Red Wings as the Columbus Blue Jackets did last week. The Jackets have the strength to match the physical play of the Penguins, and without Crosby or Malkin, the Jackets can also score along with the Penguins.

BSNblog Pick: Columbus Blue Jackets

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