The table has been set! Wednesday April 12th marks the beginning of the NHL playoffs. Off top I have to mention, this is one of the best matches there will be first round. Physicality matched up against skill.
Columbus Blue Jackets are set to come to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. When that puck drops, just know this is going to be one for the books. A few years back, the 2013-2014 season Pittsburgh won the first round series 4-2. I’m not saying I expect that same outcome. I’m saying without Kris Letang, it’s going to be a bloodbath. At one point in this season CBJ had a 16 game win streak that almost and I say ALMOST took Mario Lemieux’s 17 game win streak from first in the league.
Columbus is a tough, gritty team, they’ve played hard this year. I don’t believe they will be able to keep their emotions in check though. That alone can be what blows this series for them. So incase you aren’t aware, Tom Sestito catches a ton of heat for being as gritty as he is. He is referred to as a “dirty player”. In many cases I may agree with you, but when the going gets tough, KEEP SESTITO UP FOR THIS SERIES. I know youre thinking I’m insane, right? No. Not when it comes to a team that has time in and time out proved that they want Sidney Crosby’s head.
We’ve seen returns from Trevor Daley, Olli Maatta, Bryan Rust, Jake Guentzel, Scott Wilson, Ron Hainsey, and we should be expecting Evgeni Malkin’s return any day now. It’s going to take a lot of teamwork, but with the depth we’ve added to defense we should be okay. It wont be a 4-0 blow out, but they will fight.
It’s going to be a long brutal series and if we can escape without any further injuries, the repeat is DEFINITELY a possibility.
Let’s go Pens! It’s a great day for playoff hockey!