With this being Columbus’ first season playing in the East, the NHL is loving this. A playoff series with the Penguins? Forming a great new rivalry right off the bat? Laugh it up, but Columbus is the closest team to Pittsburgh at only 185 miles away. All this puppy of a rivalry needs is a couple of huge moments, the type of moments that always come in the playoffs. What if Columbus pulls off the great upset? What a huge first shot that would be.
But that’s just not going to happen. This opening-round series against the Blue Jackets should be nothing but a tune-up for the Penguins as they get ready for the real test in the next round(s). With all the analysis being thrown around left and right in anticipation of the first round, the outcome of this series is going to come down to the great divide in talent between the two teams.
However, the Jackets can win this series if:
- Malkin and Crosby are both kidnapped.
- They don’t let the Penguins’ PP score a goal.
- The International Space Station explodes.
- Marc-Andre Fleury retires.
- Boone Jenner turns into Barry Bonds.
- All of these things have to happen at the same time.
The only person picking the Jackets to win this series is your dad, and that’s just because he’s an asshole. Two weeks from now, if the Penguins aren’t gearing up to play either the Flyers or the Rangers, then something went horribly wrong and someone probably died. For all intents and purposes, this is a 2-seed vs. 7-seed matchup, and the Penguins should beat the Jackets without any problem.
Look at the Jackets record against every team in the NHL:
There is something fishy about them going 0-5 against the Penguins when they’ve seemingly played everyone tough all year. They aren’t a bad hockey team, but 0-5 indicates there is a major flaw that the Penguins know about.
Pens in five.