(8) Leafs vs (9) Blue Jackets
Why the Leafs will win:
The window of opportunity is closing in for the Leafs. They have the star power up front, but can their defense rise to the occasion? Tyson Barrie is the only minus player in their top 6. He joins Nylander and Tavares as minus players and 3 of their top 5 scores. This is a problem. If Toronto's top players can't play 5v5, Columbus might have a chance. Why the Leafs will win? They gel as a team and commit to defense, and Freddy finds his playoff groove. Leafs in 4.
Why the Blue Jackets will win:
This is not a great match up for the Jackets. Their offense is almost non existent with only two 20 goal scorers. For them to capture this series, they must be air tight defensively and be opportunistic. The tandem of Korpisalo and Merzlikins could be one of the best in the post season. Why the Blue Jackets will win? There is no way they can score themselves out of this series, but if the Jackets get a 2003 J.S. Giguere performance, this series will be theirs. Jackets in 5.