2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Expectations for the Columbus Blue Jackets

Have this season’s Columbus Blue Jackets raised expectations despite being ahead of schedule?

As we approach the playoffs, the Columbus Blue Jackets enter having struggled in their final two weeks. Much has been said over the state of the team, whether or not fans should panic, and what can be expected once the playoffs start.

Now, days from opening their series in Pittsburgh against the Penguins, we as fans must ask- what do we expect out of this team for their playoff run?

The Blue Jackets have never won a playoff series. We know that. They’ve never even won a playoff game in regulation. They have struggled to score goals the last two weeks, have struggled to maintain their defense structure, and have slumped at the worst possible time.

That being said, the Blue Jackets set franchise records for wins, goals scored, and points in a season, along with a host of personal milestones throughout the lineup.

So, what do we expect heading into the playoffs?

I do not expect a series win from this team. The Pittsburgh Penguins have been lights out in PPG Paints arena this season with a record of 31-6-4. Winning a crucial game in Pittsburgh may prove too tall a task for a team with as little Stanley Cup Playoff experience as the Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets did not win a game in PPG Paints Arena this season, as the home team won each game in the season series.

My expectations are the following: first, I expect this team to compete in every game, and to not get blown out of any game. They’ve shown all season that they can compete with the Penguins and skate with them, the exception being the final game of the regular season series where the Penguins won 4-1 despite all of the advanced stats showing that the final scoreline was harsh for the Blue Jackets.

Second, I expect the team to defend home ice. This team plays hard against the Penguins in front of their home fans, often outskating them and taking the game at the opposition. Winning 3 games in Nationwide Arena would go a long way toward establishing a strong home ice advantage for the years going forward and would keep the excitement and energy in the fanbase.

So, those are my expectations: play competitively in every game, and defend home ice. Anything above and beyond that would be a bonus.

What say the fans? What are your expectations for this postseason?

What are your expectations for the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs?

Competitive first round loss and defend home ice176
Win a playoff series202
Make the Eastern Conference Finals22
Make the Stanley Cup Finals12
Win the Stanley Cup32

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