Tonight the Penguins (45-29-6) head to Columbus to take on Ian Cole and the Blue Jackets (45-29-6) in a game that will likely decide home-ice advantage for the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so really there's no pressure at all. Puck is set to drop from Nationwide Arena just after 7:00PM.
Entering tonight's contest, the Penguins and Blue Jackets are both tied for second in the Metrosexual Division with 96 points. The Penguins do hold the tiebreaker over the Blue Jackets thanks to their 43 ROW (regulation / overtime wins) to Columbus' 39, per the Penguins website. If the Penguins win in regulation tonight, meaning the game cannot go to overtime, and the New Jersey Devils lose in any fashion tonight, the Penguins would lock up home-ice for the first round of the playoffs.
If you've lived under a rock, which seeing some of your posts regarding the Penguins makes it fairly believable, home-ice advantage would be pretty nice for the Penguins. They currently boast the league's second best home record second this season, going 29-9-2 at PPG Paints Arena, while their road record is far less than stellar, going 16-20-4 away from the Paint Can. The good news is that the Penguins are 3-0 against the Blue Jackets this season including two shootout victories at home, and a 5-2 win on the road the last time these two faced off on February 18th.
I'm not saying the Penguins NEED a win tonight because they've already clinched and I believe everyone overreacts and should know the Penguins generally win when it matters (see the last two years for example), but if the Penguins were to lose tonight and the Flyers, Devils etc. record wins over the next two days, the Penguins could find themselves in the 8th seed. The 8th seed is rather scary because this would mean the Penguins first round opponent would either be the Boston Bruins or the Tampa Bay Lightning. No thank you. To make matters worse, Columbus enters this game on a 13-1-1 run. Buckle up folks, tonight is going to feel like a playoff game.
Forwards Derick Brassard and Carter Rowney still have yet to return to practice, I wouldn't expect them in the lineup tonight.
It looks as if the Matt Hunwick experiment is over, Chad Ruhwedel is expected to slot in as the team's 6th defenseman.
Expect Matt Murray vs Sergei Bobrovsky in net tonight.
Not too worried about the goalie matchup considering the Penguins absolutely own Bobrovsky.
Look for Artemi Panarin to score some goals tonight, he absolutely owns the Penguins and has 11 points in his last four games.
Thomas Vanek is also a player to watch, he's got 14 points in 17 games since joining the Jackets.
If Phil Kessel plays, it will be his 691st consecutive game. What a player.
Over the 18 games, the Penguins have allowed on average 3.61 goals per game, which would tie them for last in the league.
Brandon Dubinsky is likely to piss me off tonight, stay tuned.
Bobrovsky just gave up a goal while I was writing this.
Columbus has that loud ass cannon, I'm not happy.
Don't forget to vote in our 'Biggest Piece of Shit' bracket. Voting ends after the Senators / Penguins game tomorrow night.
You can vote by going to our Twitter, @PensOfAnarchy. Follow us too because we're the best.
As per usual, Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski tried to steal the show by getting hit in the face with a puck against the Red Wings on Tuesday.
Jack Johnson is still poor.
Here's our bracket, we've got Tom Wilson and Brad Marchand in the Finals. How the hell do you pick one? Vote!
Old Posts from our site, heyyyyyfannnssss (4/11-2/15). Cute name, but impossible to remember.