Blue Jackets vs Flyers Prediction NHL Picks Today 10/12
- Lm Tipster
- Oct 12, 2023, 12:57:08 AM
© Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
NHL Predictions: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
The 2023-24 NHL season kicks off with a matchup between two Metropolitan Division teams coming off disappointing campaigns. The Philadelphia Flyers hit the road to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night in what promises to be a crucial season opener.
Philadelphia endured a challenging 2022-23 season, finishing 31-38-13 and landing in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division, missing the playoffs. Columbus had a similarly frustrating season, ending with a 25-48-9 record, residing at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division and also failing to reach the postseason.
Recent history between these teams favors the Flyers, with a 6-3-1 record in their last ten meetings, including a thrilling 4-3 overtime win in their most recent encounter on April 11.
Philadelphia Flyers' Outlook
Philadelphia's 2022-23 season was marked by struggles, finishing seventh in the Metropolitan Division with 75 points, a considerable 17 points behind the playoff cutoff. The team seems to be embracing a youth movement, making limited moves in free agency, including signings like Garnet Hathaway, Marc Staal, Victor Mete, Ryan Poehling, and Rhett Gardner. On the flip side, they bid farewell to veterans James van Riemsdyk (now with Boston) and Tony DeAngelo (who was bought out and subsequently signed with Carolina).
Offensively, the Flyers faced difficulties, ranking 29th in the league with an average of 2.68 goals per game. Their defensive performance was equally concerning, conceding an average of 3.37 goals per game, ranking 23rd. Special teams were an Achilles' heel, with a last-place finish in power play success at 15.6%, and a 26th ranking in penalty kill efficiency at 74.7%.
Carter Hart, who started 54 games last season for the Flyers, is expected to be in the net for this game. His 2022-23 season statistics include a 22-23-10 record, a 2.94 GAA, a .907 save percentage, and two shutouts.
Columbus Blue Jackets' Perspective
Columbus endured a challenging 2022-23 season, finishing last in the Metropolitan Division with just 59 points, trailing the Flyers by 16 points and missing the playoffs for the third consecutive year. Offseason turmoil saw the resignation of coach Mike Babcock, who was initially hired on a two-year, $8 million deal. Pascal Vincent now takes the helm, inheriting a roster that remains largely unchanged from last season's disappointment, with the addition of third overall pick Adam Fantilli.
The Blue Jackets struggled offensively, ranking 30th in the league with an average of 2.54 goals per game. Their defense was equally porous, allowing an average of four goals per game, ranking 31st. Special teams were a challenge, with a 26th-place finish in power play success at 18.3% and a 25th ranking in penalty kill efficiency at 75.1%.
Elvis Merzlikins, who started 27 games last season for the Blue Jackets, is expected to be in goal for this game. His 2022-23 season included a 7-18-2 record, a 4.23 GAA, and a .876 save percentage.
When it comes to the matchup between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Columbus Blue Jackets, expectations are modest as both teams struggled last season. With their offensive and defensive woes from the previous campaign, a defensive battle is anticipated for this season opener.
Considering the struggles of both teams and the potential for a low-scoring affair, the under of 6.5 goals appears to be the best bet for this game. Be prepared for a game where goals may be at a premium as the Flyers and Blue Jackets kick off their quest for redemption.
Stay tuned for more NHL predictions and expert picks, available on KingPin.pro's iOS and Android app.
Pick: Under 6.5 goals