- The injury and illness riddled Chicago Blackhawks (2-2-3) are 1.5-goal favorites going into Friday’s home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets (2-3-3).
- The contest will be broadcasted on NHL Network at 8 PM EST on January 29, 2021
- See the game odds, spreads, picks, plus a preview below
When the Columbus Blue Jackets traded center Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Winnipeg Jets for Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic on Jan. 23, you could almost feel the tension leaving the Ohio-based NHL team.
There was no denying that the Dubois trade demand had caused issues in the Columbus dressing room. When Dubois was benched by coach John Tortorella for a lackadaisical shift, it became clear Dubois needed to be traded just to relieve the anxiety in the dressing room.
The Blue Jackets have picked up three out of four points since the trade was announced. They are officially an underdog going into Friday’s game in Chicago, although they probably don’t feel like an underdog.
Roslovic should be in the Columbus lineup against the Blackhawks. While it’s unknown when Laine will be able to complete the necessary immigration paperwork to allow him to travel to Columbus.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Chicago Blackhawks Odds
|Columbus Blue Jackets||-108||+1.5 (-295)||O 5.5 (-120)|
|Chicago Blackhawks||-108||-1.5 (+240)||U 5.5 (-103)|
Odds taken Jan. 28 at DraftKings
Blue Jackets Need to Find More Goals
In theory, the Blue Jackets trade should increase the team’s scoring. Roslovic hasn’t shown that he can match the Dubois scoring touch, but he has 20-goal potential.
Our updated projected lines ⬇️#CBJ | @BlueTech_Inc pic.twitter.com/UesaApS3c3
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) January 28, 2021
Atkinson netted 41 goals two seasons ago, and he had a run of six consecutive seasons of 20 or more goals. If Roslovic can help Atkinson re-ignite, he will have done his job.
With Alexandre Texier playing surprisingly well as the No. 1 center, the Blue Jackets believe they have three scoring lines. They may not miss Dubois as much as pundits believe.
Laine is coming off an injury, but when he gets to Columbus and completes his quarantine, he will be the most talented and dangerous goal scorer the franchise has ever known, or at least since Rick Nash.
Kane Doing His Best to Keep ‘Hawks Competitive
Patrick Kane played more than 27 minutes Wednesday in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators. You are going to see him play defenseman-like minutes often this season because the Blackhawks have been overrun by injuries and illness.
It’s almost as if Kane’s talent is holding the Blackhawks together on the offensive end.
The Blackhawks rank 20th with a 2.75 goals per game scoring average, and Kane leads the team with seven points in eight games.
Congrats to Kevin Lankinen (@KLankinen) on his first NHL win! @ATT | #MilestoneMoment pic.twitter.com/EE9JzezOZ6
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 23, 2021
Two pleasant surprises have helped the team over the past four games. Former Swiss League MVP Pius Suter netted a hat trick against Detroit. He might give the offense a lift.
More importantly, goalie Kevin Lankinen has given the team a spark by going 2-0-2 in his first games this season with a 2.18 GAA and .931 SV%. It’s like he has thrown the struggling defense a life jacket.
Blackhawks IR List is Lengthy
As if having Kirby Dach (fractured wrist), Jonathan Toews (illness), Alex Nylander (knee), Brent Seabrook (back) all on the long-term injury/illness list wasn’t bad enough, the Blackhawks learned this week that Lucas Wallmark, Alex DeBrincat, and Adam Boqvist are all on the Covid-19 list.
There’s no timetable for any of those players, although Wallmark, DeBrincat, and Boqvist are officially considered day-to-day. The Blackhawks are not deep enough to overcome this many missing players.
No additional #Blackhawks were added to NHL’s COVID-19 protocol today.
Adam Boqvist, Alex DeBrincat and Lucas Wallmark remain on the list.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) January 28, 2021
Time to Make Moneyline Wager
While the Blackhawks have looked sharper over the past four games, they have too many players out of the lineup. Their depth and defensive consistency remains suspect. No matter what is going on with personnel, Coach John Tortorella’s team always plays hard. Perhaps relieved to have the Dubois matter settled, they have looked more effective in the past two games.
Pick: Blue Jackets: Moneyline (-108)