NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Arizona Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets (October 25)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Arizona Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets (October 25) article feature image

Bruce Bennett/Getty. Pictured: Gustav Nyquist.

Coyotes vs. Blue Jackets Odds

Coyotes Odds+190
Blue Jackets Odds-238
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

If there's one thing the Arizona Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets will do, it's allow goals in.

Neither team prioritizes defensive zone coverage, preferring to leave their goaltenders high and dry instead of preventing chances against. Mix in a couple of underperforming goaltenders, and we have a recipe for a high-scoring inter-conference matchup on Tuesday night.

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Arizona Coyotes Doing Coyotes Things

The Desert Dogs are living up to their reputation, posting atrocious metrics to start the season. Arizona ranks dead last in the NHL in expected goals-for rating, getting outplayed in all five contests this season and posting a cumulative 31.4% rating. There are no signs of improvement as the Coyotes conclude a six-game road trip to open the season.

Being the road team doesn't excuse the dismal efforts we've seen from the Coyotes. Arizona chases the puck on a nightly basis, surpassing a 40.7% Corsi rating just once this season while allowing opponents to run roughshod over them in their defensive end.

Opponents have attempted 11 or more high-danger chances in four-of-five games, with a season average of 12.8. Similarly, scoring chances have been abundant, with the 'Yotes giving up an average of 28.6 per contest.

No amount of offense could save the Coyotes from their ineffective defensive zone coverage. But, they should at least be trying. Arizona has attempted more than six high-danger and 15 scoring opportunities just once this season, resulting in the worst production metrics in the league by a wide margin.

Consequently, they have the worst five-on-five shooting percentage in the NHL.

Columbus Blue Jackets Looking For Improvement

Columbus is well-skated, playing seven games through the first two weeks of the season. They have turned a corner with their metrics over their recent sample. The Blue Jackets have outplayed three of their past four opponents, a trend that should continue against a subpar Coyotes team.

Lately, offense has moved to the forefront of the Blue Jackets game plans. The Metropolitan Division basement dwellers have attempted 11 high-danger chances in three of their previous four outings, equalling or out-chancing their opponents in all four games. Increased production correlates with the boost in scoring from the Jackets, with the team netting three or more goals in four straight contests and totaling 17 goals.

Sadly, that increased output is needed to offset some of the Blue Jackets' shortcomings in net. Elvin Merzilikins is putting out the welcome mat in the blue paint, posting a laughable 86.4% save percentage and 4.19 goals-against average.

Since his standout rookie campaign, the Latvian net minder's metrics have fallen further each year, bottoming out with a 60.0% high-danger save percentage and -4.6 goals saved above average. Although his metrics will eventually trend back toward career norms, I don't think Merzilikins has hit rock bottom yet.

Coyotes vs. Blue Jackets Pick

Not even the benefit of line matching on home ice could save the Coyotes this season. Their struggles will be a common thread until the season mercifully comes to an end in April.

Until then, they are prime fade material, including tonight against the Blue Jackets, in what should be a highly entertaining affair.

Pick: Blue Jackets -238, Over 7 +105

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