Columbus Blue Jackets: Union and Blue Bracket Competition

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 20: Jack Johnson
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 20: Jack Johnson /

The Columbus Blue Jackets are set to start their playoffs tomorrow night, however with a few games starting tonight; Union and Blue decided to test our hockey knowledge.

With the Columbus Blue Jackets vs Washington Capitals series not starting until tomorrow night, Union and Blue decided to have a little fun; and to let the readers in on it.

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Lansing’s Take

For the first round the central portion of the bracket its about as straightforward as it gets. Colorado has no chance of keeping up with Nashville and Minnesota not having Ryan Suter is a deathblow.

The Pacific portion I have both lower seeds moving on. Vegas will finally turn into a pumpkin against a rock solid Los Angeles team. Injuries also will doom Anaheim. Without Cam Fowler and a banged up John Gibson the Ducks can’t stop San Jose who with the addition of Evander Kane have two deadly top lines.

In the Atlantic there is no chance the New Jersey Taylor Hall‘s can keep up with Tampa. This series has sweep written all over it.

The Boston and Toronto matchup I think will be the best series of the first round. Boston though is beat up and even their “healthy” players are just coming off injuries. Toronto is rolling and Auston Matthews looks incredible. Leafs in seven.

Finally in the beloved Metro I have the defending champs tearing up whatever low grade goalie Philadelphia throws on the ice. The Pens can roll too many elite scorers on the ice at all time not to shred any of the Flyers goaltenders.

And, of course, the Columbus Blue Jackets win in six over the Capitals. They beat both Philipp Grubauer and Braden Holtby and shake the Caps confidence by proving if you have two starting goalies, you have none.

Second Round

The best matchup up outside of the finals will come when Nashville and Winnipeg clash. Pure coin flip of a series. I took the Jets in seven.

In the Pacific the Sharks will take out the Kings. The Sharks again can score at will and have a better defensive corps than the Kings.

Toronto will be too worn out after their epic series with Boston and Tampa would be too much even if they were fresh. Bolts to the Eastern Conference Finals.

And the Jackets have their first franchise series win in history in hand but they will not get two. The Penguins are too deep and too experience. Pens in seven.

Conference Finals and Cup Champions

In the west the Jets end the Sharks season fairly easily. The winner of the Jets/Predators series will head to the Stanley Cup finals and I’ve got the Jets moving on.

In the east Tampa will have Steven Stamkos back by the Eastern Conference Finals and they have the forwards to match Pittsburgh. They also have a better defensive corps and goalie. Bolts head to the Cup final.

And in the Finals the Jets take down the Bolts to bring the Cup back to Canada.

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

William’s Take

The Nashville Predators vs Colorado Avalanche will be an interesting series, and won’t be as much of a wash as most people are likely thinking; I think Nathan Mackinnon is able to get his Avalanche at least one game. He won’t be able to do much though, Predators will win in 5. Winnipeg will have a tough time advancing past the Wild even if Minnesota’s top defenseman Ryan Suter is down due to injury; after 6 games Patrik Laine and the Jets will move on to the next round though.

The Vegas Golden Knights appear to be in great position going into the playoffs, however drawing the Los Angeles Kings was likely one of the biggest obstacles they could’ve gotten. LA may not appear to be the biggest threat, but years like that seem to be when they play their best playoff hockey. However Vegas will ride their wave of momentum and win in 7 with former Columbus Blue Jacket William Karlsson getting a hat trick in at least one of the games. Anaheim vs San Jose will also go to seven games, however Anaheim’s depth will give them the win.

Tampa Bay and Boston are two of the strongest teams in the NHL, and although the New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs have bright futures; 2018 will not be their year.

The Columbus Blue Jackets will finally win a playoff series by defeating the goaltending mess of the Washington Capitals in six games which will lead to them once again playing the rival Pittsburgh Penguins after the Penguins defeat Philadelphia in 5.

Second Round

The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets will put on a show and will undoubtedly be one of the most entertaining series of the entire 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. After six, the Winnipeg Jets will find a way to get past Pekka Rinne and the Predators. The Golden Knights will match up against the Anaheim Ducks, however still riding a great wave of momentum; the Ducks will be no match as after 5 games Vegas will move on to the conference final.

In the east, Tampa Bay and the Boston Bruins will go to 7 games; and even an overtime in game seven. Nikita Kucherov will be too much to handle for Boston in the end however; and Tampa Bay will move on. The Columbus Blue Jackets face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins once again, this time however the result will be different. The Blue Jackets will win in 6 games.

Later Rounds

Winnipeg will defeat the Vegas Golden Knights in 5 and move on to face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup final; who would unfortunately end the Columbus Blue Jackets’ year in 5 games as well.

Tampa Bay’s experience and heavy offensive pressure would be too much for the young Winnipeg team, who will win a Stanley Cup in the near future; however in 2018 it’ll belong to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Next: CBJ vs Caps Coaching Comparison

Columbus Blue Jackets outcomes

Lansing’s prediction has the Columbus Blue Jackets losing in the second round to the Pittsburgh Penguins, while William has them falling in the Conference Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning.