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Keeping up with the Metropolitans: Week 9

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Your weekly dose of Metropolitan action!

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time this year in KUWTM, a team not named after the Devil is in first place in the Metro. Thanks to the Devils struggling with the three easiest opponents in the NHL this week, John Tortorella’s Blue Jackets are in first place with their 4 point week. The Devils will have chance for redemption, however, as Columbus and New Jersey square off in a home-and-home this week in what should be a real glimpse of what kind of team the Devils intend to be this year. The Jackets seem to be the real deal based off the last few years. The Devils will do their best to make that leap this year and the Jackets will be a good measuring stick for the Devils this week.

Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, it’s been somewhat of a bittersweet week again. There’s not much to complain about when going 3-0, but losing Matt Murray to a lower-body injury is anything but good news. Tristan Jarry has been more than impressive in his handful of NHL games, however, the Flyers and Sabres have a combined 14 wins this season. I’m not taking anything away from the Pens or Jarry by saying that, just putting it in perspective. Those were statement wins in all three of those victories.

The Penguins are closing the gap in the goal differential after many weeks with an embarrassingly low number in that category. It’s always nice to see the Penguins rebound, and even better having the Philadelphia Flyers as the catalyst for that as they were last Monday in another dramatic meeting between the two teams. It looks like the teams on opposite sides of the state are also going in opposite directions as well.

The Islanders have been fortunate to continue to get scoring from all over, and most notably from defenseman Nick Leddy who is currently 2nd in the NHL in scoring by a defenseman with 21 points, one behind John Klingberg. Leddy also has 6 goals, which is tied for 3rd most by a defenseman. The Isles have a very tough week ahead of them this week with 4 away games in 6 days at FLA, TBL, PIT, and BOS. They play the Panthers and Lightning back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday, then fly to face a rested(!) Penguins team before facing a rested Bruins team. The Islanders will also play 8 games in the next 14 days, so it won’t be getting any easier for them the next two weeks.

In a somewhat surprising story line this season in the Metro, only the Blue Jackets and Hurricanes are in the top half of the league in goals against. The biggest surprise to me has been the Capitals, who are 22nd out of 31 teams in goals against. However, the problem has not been Braden Holtby with his .919 sv%, which is just .002 points lower than his career average. Many people were predicting their defense to take step back with all the turnover last off-season, and it seems we’re looking at it. Sorry, not sorry.

The Rangers had a rather quiet week last week, only playing in two games, splitting the decisions in regulation. The Rangers have a good chance to make up some ground in the Metro with 3 games this week, all against Metro opponents starting with a meeting at PPG Paints on Tuesday against the Pens followed by a date with the Caps in DC on Friday night. The Rangers then head home to face another rival in the Devils the following night at MSG. The Rangers could disrupt the top half of the standings if they were to be successful this week.

The Hurricanes look to have some trouble on the horizon. Pay attention, because it’s hard to believe that the NHL would put them through this the next couple weeks. The Canes are now starting a stretch where 8 out of the next 9 (and 10/12 counting last week) will be on the road starting with Vancouver on Tuesday and then continuing on to the three California teams before facing the Knights on the 2nd half of a B2B with Anaheim. They’ll then return back east in Buffalo before heading back to Carolina the next night to play the Jackets. Merry Christmas, Carolina!

No need to report on the Flyers. They still suck. I’ll update again if/when they win another game.

Until next week, thanks for reading folks and lots of good games to vote on this week, don’t forget to vote for the game of the week!


(3)Pittsburgh Penguins

15-10-3, 33 pts; 83 GF (8th in NHL; 13th last week) / 91 GA (28th; 30th last week)
3-0 record last week

11/27/17
PHI: 4
PIT: 5 OT

Crosby’s OT goal caps wild win

12/1/17
PIT: 4
BUF: 0
Best. Tristan. Ever. Pens shut out Buffalo

12/2/17
BUF: 1
PIT: 5
Penguins Win Back-to-Back Set Over Sabres

Week Ahead:

Tuesday December 5 - vs NYR, 7:30 PM ET

Thursday December 7 - vs NYI, 7 PM

Saturday December 9 - vs TOR, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 11/27/17, G Matt Murray - IR; Lower-body injury


(1)Columbus Blue Jackets

17-9-1, 35 pts; 79 GF (14th; 17th last week) / 66 GA (3rd; 2nd last week)
2-2 record last week

11/27/17
CBJ: 1
MTL: 3
All Winning Streaks Come to An End

11/28/17
CAR: 2
CBJ: 3 SO
Another Ugly Win

12/1/17
ANA: 2
CBJ: 4
Duck Hunt

12/2/17
CBJ: 3
WSH: 4
Highlight Recap: Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals

Week Ahead:

Tuesday December 5 - vs NJD, 7 PM

Friday December 8 - @ NJD, 7 PM

Saturday December 9 - vs ARI, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 11/27/17, D Ryan Murray - IR; Upper-body injury


(2)New Jersey Devils

15-7-4, 34 pts; 80 GF (12th; 6th last week) / 80 GA (16th; 19th last week)
1-2 record last week

11/27/17
FLA: 3
NJD: 2
New Jersey Devils Deservedly Lost to Florida Panthers, 3-2

12/1/17
NJD: 2
COL: 1
New Jersey Devils Won 2-1 the Hard Way Over the Colorado Avalanche

12/2/17
NJD: 0
ARI: 5
New Jersey Devils Stunk it Up in a 0-5 Loss to the Arizona Coyotes

Week Ahead:

Tuesday December 5 - @ CBJ, 7 PM

Friday December 8 - vs CBJ, 7 PM

Saturday December 9 - @ NYR, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 11/12/17, D Mirco Mueller - IR; Fractured clavicle
  • 11/20/17, RW Kyle Palmieri - IR; Foot


(4)New York Islanders

15-8-2, 32 pts; 94GF (3rd) / 82 GA (20th; 22nd last week)
1-1 record last week

11/28/17
VAN: 2
NYI: 5
Top two lines lead the way again

12/1/17
OTT: 6
NYI: 5
Ottawa ends slump and Isles home streak

Week Ahead:

Monday December 4 - @ FLA, 7:30 PM

Tuesday December 5 - @ TBL; 7:30 PM

Thursday December 7 - @ PIT; 7 PM

Saturday December 9 - @ BOS, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 11/6/17, LW Nikolay Kulemin - IR; Upper-body injury
  • 11/26/17, C Casey Cizikas - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury


(5)Washington Capitals

15-11-1, 29 pts; 80 GF (12th; 7th last week) / 83 GA (22nd; 24th last week)
1-1 record last week

11/30/17
LAK: 5
WSH: 2
Kings Leave Kuzy, Caps No Leftovers 5-2

12/2/17
CBJ: 3
WSH: 4
Russian Warheads Smash Columbus 4-3

Week Ahead:

Monday December 4 - vs SJS, 7 PM

Wednesday December 6 - vs CHI, 8 PM

Friday December 8 - vs NYR, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 10/21/17, LW Andre Burakovsky - IR; Upper-body injury


(6)New York Rangers

14-10-2, 30 pts; 87 GF (6th; 7th last week) / 78 GA (15th)
1-1 record last week

11/28/17
FLA: 5
NYR: 4
Rangers Rally From 3-Goal Deficit, But Fall 5-4 In Regulation

12/1/17
CAR: 1
NYR: 5
Rangers Hang On to Defeat Hurricanes 5-1

Week Ahead:

Tuesday December 5 - @ PIT, 7:30 PM

Friday December 8 - @ WSH, 7 PM

Saturday December 9 - vs NJD, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 11/27/17, C Mika Zibanejad - Day-to-day; Concussion


(7)Carolina Hurricanes

11-9-5, 27 pts; 72 GF (25th) / 77 GA (12th; 10th last week)
1-1-1 record last week

11/28/17
CAR: 2
CBJ: 3 SO
Carolina Hurricanes Drop 3-2 Shoot Out Loss to Columbus Blue Jackets

12/1/17
CAR: 1
NYR: 5
Second Period Collapse Dooms Hurricanes in 5-1 Rangers Win

12/2/17
FLA: 2
CAR: 3 OT
Hurricanes Beat Panthers in Dramatic and Emotional Must-Win Game

Week Ahead:

Tuesday December 5 - @ VAN, 10 PM

Thursday December 7 - @ SJS, 10:30 PM

Saturday December 9 - @ LAK, 10:30 PM

Injuries:

10/2/17, RW Lee Stempniak - IR; Hip


(8)Philadelphia Flyers

8-11-7, 23 pts; 70 GF (28th; 21st last week)/ 81 GA (18th; 17th last week)
0-2-1 record last week

11/27/17
PHI: 4
PIT: 5 OT
The arch-enemy extends the losing streak to eight games

11/28/17
SJS: 3
PHI: 1
Early lead proves deadly once again

12/2/17
BOS: 3
PHI: 0
We are not mad, we are laughing actually

Week Ahead:

Monday December 4 - @ CGY, 9 PM

Wednesday December 6 - @ EDM, 9:30 PM

Thursday December 7 - @ VAN, 10 PM

Injuries:

  • 10/3/17, G Anthony Stolarz - IR; Knee
  • 10/3/17, RW Colin McDonald - IR; Lower-body injury


  • Standings via NHL.com as of 12/3/17
  • Injuries via TSN as of 12/3/17

Poll

Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    12/5/17 - NJD @ CBJ, 7 PM; 12/8/17 - CBJ @ NJD, 7 PM
    (31 votes)
  • 20%
    12/5/17 - NYR @ PIT, 7:30 PM; NBCSN
    (24 votes)
  • 2%
    12/6/17 - CHI @ WSH, 8 PM; NBCSN
    (3 votes)
  • 15%
    12/7/17 - NYI @ PIT, 7 PM
    (18 votes)
  • 2%
    12/8/17 - NYR @ WSH, 7 PM; NHL-N
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    12/9/17 - NJD @ NYR, 7 PM
    (0 votes)
  • 31%
    12/9/17 - TOR @ PIT, 7 PM; NHL-N
    (36 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (1 vote)
116 votes total Vote Now