Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals Series Predictions

COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 26: Mark Letestu
COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 26: Mark Letestu /

Prediction time for the Columbus Blue Jackets round one matchup against the Washington Capitals.

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals first round matchup is one of the toughest series in to predict. Hockey experts across the continent have summed this series up to a coin flip and their predictions show that. Just about every prognosticator has this series going six or seven games with half picking the Blue Jackets and the other half picking the Capitals.

Our series preview have reflected that as well. We gave the Washington Capitals the advantage in net and at the center position.

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But the Columbus Blue Jackets have a deeper rotation of wingers that will give them a leg up on the Capitals.

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And the Jackets have a huge blue line advantage. Only one other team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Nashville Predators, can matchup with the Jackets on defense.

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No team has an advantage behind the bench either. Both teams have experienced leaders that know their opponent and the game too well to give either team an edge.

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Who will come out on top of this series will depend on who can take away the other teams strength. For the Columbus Blue Jackets that means Pierre-Luc Dubois being able to play at the same level as Nicklas Backstrom.

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It also means limiting Alex Ovechkin. The CBJ can’t expect to shutout Ovi, but if they can limit him to three goals or less in the series that would give the Jackets a real chance at winning this series.

For the Capitals it means limiting the offensive production from Artemi Panrin and the blue line. Both of which they have been unable to do this season.

In fairness no one has been able to stop Panarin or the blue line from scoring in the last month which is why the slight edge goes to the Jackets. They are playing incredible hockey down the stretch and that will carry over into round one. Unlike last season where they stalled out in March, this Blue Jackets squad is hitting on all cylinders right now.

If the Jackets can win game one and chase backup Philipp Grubauer from the net, the series will be over in five or six games. The Washington goaltender situation is a fragile one for the Caps and I expect the Jackets to jump on it early and instill doubt in the Caps.

I’ve got the Jackets in six games. They jump on the Caps goaltender situation and pour goals on both Grubauer and a shaky Braden Holtby for their first playoff series win in franchise history.