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The Pittsburgh Penguins dating back to the Dan Bylsma era always seem to rise to the occasion in these regular season games where they’re severely shorthanded at a key spot as they were Tuesday night in Columbus without Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin.
The Blue Jackets were riding the high of their deadline moves and had no excuse to lose that game, but Pittsburgh once again came in and delivered more doubt into the Blue Jackets heads, namely Sergei Bobrovsky.
Blue Jackets management was bold with their deadline moves and it’s always fun to see a team go all-in. They also targeted players whom they believe they have shots to resign in Ryan Dzingle and Matt Duchene which is smart management.
But, a quick exit or not even making the playoffs is going to be catastrophic for this organization.
On paper this is a dangerous team, an obvious threat to win two rounds, some scouts say they’re the best team in the Metro.
The Penguins on Tuesday night, though, furthered those questions surrounding the Blue Jackets of whether they know how to win and that’s what made their deadline moves so risky as they’re far from even a lock to get in.
They made the type of moves you make when you have an 8-10 point cushion on a playoff spot. Columbus with under 20 games to go has a zero point cushion.
The Blue Jackets fell out of a playoff spot Tuesday night and are now back in a playoff spot after an overtime win against the Flyers last night.
Would Columbus be a favorite against Washington in Round 1?
That’s a No.
Same with Pittsburgh because of the mental edge they continue to have.
A first-round meeting with the Lightning would obviously be a disaster and a five game series.
The thinking around the league on the Blue Jackets is even after acquiring Duchene and Dzingle and also looking into Mark Stone, the Blue Jackets ultimate goal was to swing an Artemi Panarin that brought immediate help with a roster player + a first-round pick. Because Panarin’s destination is so small, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers his top two preferred spots and his list doesn’t expand beyond four games, a market like the Blue Jackets hoped never developed.
— Pittsburgh’s hope is Bryan Rust can return in Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"