Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport
Games: Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins , 7 p.m. ET, Nov. 1
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. ET, Nov. 2
2013 Season Series: —
A little less than three hours of travel separate these cities, and an early home-and-home series is sure to be the start of an intense new rivalry.
The Blue Jackets will likely head into this season viewed as the little brother in this matchup—and rightfully so. Being a team without a playoff victory in their history against a team that's won three Stanley Cups doesn't come without an uphill battle to earn respect. However, a team like the Jackets is built to upset the Pens.
Columbus took the victory in their only matchup in the preseason, 5-3. Rookie Boone Jenner made his presence felt, scoring two goals including the game-winner while playing on a line with veterans Brandon Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik.
If Jenner doesn't falter and find himself back in the AHL, he could be skating on the same ice as Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin in a little more than a month.
To avoid the hole they dug themselves last season with a slow start, early divisional games like these carry a lot of weight. Look for the Jackets to establish themselves as legitimate contenders in the Metropolitan Division early.