2017 NHL Playoff Preview: Metro Division
These teams are going to beat each other up, maybe literally.
|2 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 3 Columbus Blue Jackets|
The conventional wisdom, taking into account the season as a whole, is that Columbus and Pittsburgh will beat the snot out of each other. Here’s the problem for the Jackets: they are playing like crap.
Columbus enters the playoffs as cold as ice, and they lack home-ice advantage in this first-round series. Pittsburgh is a 31-win team at home this season, meaning you don’t want to go there for Game 7.
Aside from that, this has the potential to be a long series. Columbus was 2-1-1 against Pittsburgh, and the Pens were 2-1-1 against the Blue Jackets. These teams know what’s up and will play very hard against one another.
Pittsburgh has the most prolific offense in the game entering the playoffs. Their 3.4 goals per contest is the best you’ll find. They take on Columbus, who with Sergei Bobrovsky in net only allow 2.4 goals per game; this is second-best in the NHL. “Bob” has won 41 games this season, but has had some stinkers in the last few games. On April 4, they faced Pittsburgh on the road, and Bobrovsky allowed four goals on 27 shots.
Were both teams coming into this round hot, this would be a super series. It still has the potential to be very good given the talent on both benches. Columbus is going to need to snap out of their funk if they want to keep up with Pittsburgh. The Jackets will go as far as Bobrovsky takes them.