As if there was any doubt as to how things would shake out, the Pittsburgh Penguins put to bed any ideas about them losing their death grip on the Metropolitan Division when they defeated Winnipeg 4-2 on Thursday.
Actually, by beating the Flyers, the Columbus Blue Jackets sealed the Metro for Pittsburgh before the game with Winnipeg was even finished, but that’s neither here nor there, I suppose.
So what does this mean, besides another useless banner hanging from the rafters at Consol Energy Center? It means that the Penguins have also clinched home-ice advantage in the playoffs, and when you look at their potential 1st round match ups, that’s a pretty big deal.
Now, obviously a ton is still subject to change, but it looks like the Pens will most likely face either the Blue Jackets or Red Wings in the first round.
I think I join most Penguins fans when I say that Columbus is by far the better matchup for Pittsburgh. A bubble team who is still not a playoff lock, the Jackets would most-likely be a five or six game series for the Penguins.
The potential is there for another mini-breakdown like the one we saw against the Islanders last season, however I think the more likely scenario is the one I first motioned, that being Pittsburgh wiping the floor with them.
Detroit, on the other hand, is a whole different ball of wax, and one that I frankly want no part of in the first round.
Destroyed by injury all season, the Red Wings have managed to hold a playoff spot despite their entire top two lines being injured for the bulk of the season.
And with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg coming back just in time for the playoffs, I could just see the Wings and Mike Babcock giving the Pens fits all series long.
All roads eventually lead to Boston, though..