Tha Sports Junkies 101

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Columbus Blue Jackets Playoff Matchup

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Columbus Blue Jackets Playoff Matchup flickr.com via mindvapor3

NHL

The playoff match-ups are set and the teams are ready to take the ice. For the Pittsburgh Penguins, it is all about lifting the 5th Stanley Cup in franchise history. For the Columbus Blue Jackets, it is mostly about trying to reach the second round of the playoffs for the first time in the history of its franchise. Furthermore, there are many reasons that each team could end up winning the series. Let’s take a look at what each team has benefiting them to start this series.

Why Could the Columbus Blue Jackets win this series?

At the start of the year, the Columbus Blue Jackets had high hopes. Now, they’re in the playoffs and hungrier than ever. With this being said, there are several key reasons why the Columbus Blue Jackets will win this series. First, they have one of the top defensive groups in the league.

With Seth Jones, Ryan Murray, David Savard, Jack Johnson and two rookies named Zach Werenski and Marcus Nutivaara, the team is destined to keep pucks out of the net. Second, there is a balance of young talent and veteran leadership to help guide the way. Not to mention, the young talent is currently playing above any expectations previously set for them.

Finally, no team can be successful without a solid goaltender. Sergei Bobrovsky is one of the best goalies in the league and is proving why he thinks he is the best goalie in the league. This team is built for success. It is only a matter of time before we see if they have what it takes.

Why could the Pittsburgh Penguins win this series?

The Pittsburgh Penguins are always one of the best teams in the league. This year, they have the potential to make another run at a Stanley Cup. There are three main reasons why the Penguins could find themselves moving on to the next round.

To start, they have the most depth going into the playoffs. Many of their players have been in the playoffs before and understand how the environment can greatly differ from the regular season. Unfortunately, they will need to use that depth early because of a couple key injuries.

Next, Sidney Crosby is still healthy. Do I need to say more? He is by far the best overall player in the league and there is no reason to believe he won’t play one step above everybody else. On the other hand, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy through an entire playoffs very often. There is no doubt the fans in that city will play a large part in who moves on and who goes home.

 

My Prediction: This will be a long series. I do however believe the Columbus Blue Jackets will take care of business on the road in the seventh game. The fact that the Penguins are missing a couple keys defensemen is just too much for me to overlook. Also, the Jackets will be able to ride their all-star goalie through at least the first round.