This is our sum of all fears as Penguins fans who fell in love with the Blue Jackets in their halcyon days, when they made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, captained by Rick Nash and (wait for it) Steve Mason in his Calder year. Sounds like a fucking fever dream these days but according to the Internet this did, in fact, actually happen. This is the second Blue Jackets postseason appearance in franchise history. The last time they were swept 0-4 by the Red Wings, who were on their way to a repeat appearance in the Cup Finals. They were a very different team then. Honestly, they probably had more problems. It made them easier to love.
Per Rob Mixer of BlueJackets.com, the only players who remain from CBJ’s previous postseason appearance are RJ Umberger (who Steiggy will be delighted to remind you is “from Pittsburgh” or more specifically Plum), Jared Boll (whose supply of apple bongs will be crossing state lines), and Fedor Tyutin (whose name is not actually just Fedortootin).
PLAYERS ON THIS TEAM WE FUCKING CAN’T STAND
Brandon Dubinsky is human garbage. Pensblog has already covered his existence fairly well in their “who to watch for.” As a young man, Brandon Dubinsky was pegged as future captain of the Rangers. Presumably, everyone wised up to the fact that that would require some modicum of responsibility and quickly forgot this ever happened.
Blake Comeau’s offensive production has really fallen off since the Islanders kicked him to the curb but he still feels like a Penguin killer to us.
Artem Anisimov: we don’t quite actually hate the guy, but he’s gonna score some big goal from way downtown eventually. he’s done it before.
THINGS ABOUT THIS TEAM THAT WILL TEST YOUR RESOLVE
If Sergei Bobrovsky is back in form after an up and down season, he will be incredibly frustrating to play against.
The offensive firepower of the Columbus Blue Jackets more or less boils down to Ryan Johansen. You’re going to have to build a brick wall around this guy. And around James Wisniewski, who has the second most points on the entire team, comprised almost entirely of assists. Clearly he is passing the puck to somebody. Also he’s basically the kingpin drug lord behind their special teams. He is gazing at you from the corner of the basement as you try to close deals. He doesn’t care about you or your family.
The absolute biggest advantage that the Blue Jackets have over the Penguins in this series is an actual ability to generate offense from all four lines.
Via Daily Faceoff, these are the Blue Jackets as of late skating in bottom six roles:
Their third line center has 22 goals. Their fourth line center (Mark Letestu, alternate captain, we miss you) has 12 goals and 34 points. If you’re really curious as to how well their bottom six forwards stack up against whatever combination of bottom six forwards the Penguins are pulling out of a hat on any given night, feel free to go Stat Crazy ™ and report your findings back to us, but they’ll probably be depressing.
Obviously, we can assume that the Penguins are getting back some key players and that the top six is more than capable of taking care of business. But if Crosby and Malkin’s lines aren’t producing, watch the fuck out for some third period heroics by guys like Derek MacKenzie. Honestly, the quality of the Blue Jackets’ bottom six could be the story of this series if the games are close. The Penguins swept the season series with CBJ but that really doesn’t mean anything this late in April. It might not be one for the ages, but it could get frustrating out there. We haven’t seen a Penguins roster that has made sense in a few weeks at least, and even when it did make sense, they weren’t playing particularly well. This could go either way. Don’t underestimate your opponent.
WORDMARK BATTLE (LITERALLY)
CBJ is running with a dual playoff slogan of “Join the Battle” and “Battle On.”
because their whole schtick is like that they were the Union Army in the Civil War or something. We are still partial to Carry The Flag. B-
The Penguins have decided to go with Buckle Up Baby! in the Impact font which seems like the only font that Phil Bourque, the Ol’ 29-er, is capable of speaking in. We can’t really decide if it’s strangely appropriate to Pittsburgh’s inability to get with the current century in a cultural sense (which is one of our favorite things about Pittsburgh), or just kind of sad. The wordmark for Buckle Up Baby doesn’t really appear anywhere on the Penguins site, but they plastered it onto CONSOL and it’s on this graphic, and purportedly on some towels:
Honestly, the Penguins might be winning this one based solely on the balls it takes to be this absurd in public.
The deep canonical romance between Sidney Crosby and Jack Johnson is something that the media will not let you forget about this series. Please pay close attention to it or risk personal injury.
4-1 Pens if everyone competes.
4-2 Blue Jackets if they shit the bed. We honestly, seriously do not want to get too excited.
stray Penguins news:
- “gold out” and Big Screen in effect
- Vokoun called up to be third goalie for playoffs
- surprise, Crosby won the Art Ross, which, unfortunately but fortunately in this case, usually means a de facto Hart Trophy
- oh lol the schedule:
- Wednesday, April 16 Columbus at PITTSBURGH 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, April 19 Columbus at PITTSBURGH 7:00 p.m.
- Monday, April 21 PITTSBURGH at Columbus 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, April 23 PITTSBURGH at Columbus 7:00 p.m
- *Saturday, April 26 Columbus at PITTSBURGH TBD
- *Monday, April 28 PITTSBURGH at Columbus TBD
- *Wednesday, April 30 Columbus at PITTSBURGH TBD
SERIES ANTHEM INSPIRED BY THE SIDNEY CROSBY JACK JOHNSON CANONICAL (B)ROMANCE
Complete Surrender by Slow Club it’s just so sexy and forbidden
CALL ME OUT, A TRUE PRETENDER
WHAT YOU WANT
go pens, bitches