Columbus Blue Jackets Staring Down the Barrel: Caps in Round One

COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 26: Goaltender Braden Holtby
COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 26: Goaltender Braden Holtby /

A view at the Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals matchup from behind enemy lines.

With just one more day before the puck drops between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals we sat down with Caps expert Dave Stevenson. Dave covers the NHL for and was the former site expert for Caps coverage.

Be sure to follow Dave on Twitter and read all of his writings at and across the entire FanSided network of sites.

Lansing Murphy (LM): Which goalie do you believe should start game one?

Dave Stevenson (DS): Philipp Grubauer should start. He’s been arguably the best goaltender in the NHL this season. Obviously, Grubauer has a bit of a small sample size, but the Caps should ride the hot hand. I think coach Barry Trotz made the right decision.

Related Story: Caps to Start Grubauer in Game 1

LM: Over/Under 4.5 goals for Alex Ovechkin in this series?

DS: I’ll go with under.

LM: What scares you the most about this Columbus Blue Jackets team in a seven game series?

DS: The Capitals couldn’t stop Artemi Panarin‘s line this season. It felt like every time he was on the ice, the Blue Jackets had the puck in the offensive zone. The Capitals have to find a way to stop that line while still paying respect to the Jackets’ depth.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets /

Columbus Blue Jackets

LM: Tell us why the Capitals will win the series.

DS Washington has been playing extremely well as of late. Since Grubauer is starting, I think they have a good chance of winning. Also, for all the talk of Bobrovsky’s struggles against the Penguins, he has struggled even more so against Washington. Bob has a .921 career save percentage. His career save percentage against the Capitals is .900.

LM:  Tell us why the Columbus Blue Jackets will win the series.

DS: The Capitals might have won three of their four games against the Blue Jackets this season, but the Caps were badly outshot in each of the games. Also, their three wins came back when Columbus couldn’t score. The Blue Jackets have since been scoring at an impressive rate lately and could roll to a series win.

LM: Final Prediction for this series?

DS: Capitals in seven games. Washington has too much firepower for the Jackets to stop and home ice is key.

Thanks again to Dave for sitting down and talking with us about what looks like the closest series the Eastern Conference will see in the first round. Even though his prediction is ludicrous, we thank Dave again for his time.