We’re already two weeks into this year’s campaign, and the Carolina Hurricanes are second to only the high-flying Toronto Maple Leafs being led by a Herculean effort by Auston Matthews. This has been the best start in Carolina franchise history, including the Hartford Whalers franchise. Sebastian Aho started the season with points in 6 straight games, scoring 4 goals and 7 assists. Curtis McElhinney is 3-0 in net, but Scott Darling should be back from injury soon and Petr Mrazek was brought in to start games as well. The goalie carousel will be interesting to keep an eye on in Raleigh.
The New Jersey Devils are also off to a promising start after such a promising season for them last year, going undefeated in three games while starting the season in Sweden. Auston Matthews isn’t the only one with a torrid goal pace to begin the year - Kyle Palmieri has scored 2 goals in each of the Devils games thus far. Waiver wire pick-up from the Pens Jean-Sebastien Dea has two goals in three games, including the game-winner for the Devils against San Jose on Sunday. Keith Kinkaid is playing phenomenal in net, allowing only 4 goals in three games, and shutting out the Capitals in a 6-0 win on Thursday night. The Devils play two more home games this week before traveling to Philly on Saturday and won’t play another road game until October 30th. This is their time to shine.
The Penguins have been all over the place to begin this year. Their two wins were thrilling offensive displays, and their two losses came against one of the league’s weaker teams in Montreal, including one game with Antti Niemi in net. The Penguins have already been dealt several key injuries. Matt Murray appears to be ready for game action again, but it appears the team lost Justin Schultz for some time with an ugly looking injury to his left leg. The Pens were supposed to be a better defensive team this year, but that’s been far from the case. Fortunately, the Metro has started off somewhat slow aside from the Hurricanes and Devils. A 2-1-1 record through 4 games isn’t so bad after all. The Penguins will host the Canucks in Pittsburgh Tuesday before flying out Toronto and swinging out west against the western Canadian teams next week. In a weird scheduling quirk, the Penguins will play against a Canadian opponent in 6 straight games.
The Jackets appeared to be playing well until they ran into the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Sergei Bobrovsky was hung out to dry, and coach John Tortorella decided not to replace him in an 8-2 loss. Artemi Panarin is off to a great start with 3 goals and 4 assists in 5 games. However, the Jackets are sorely missing Seth Jones. He’s likely to miss the first month of the season, and the Jackets will have the Bobrovsky and Panarin contract situations looming very large all season. Those two are the bread and butter for the Jackets. It’s too early to say what kind of team they’ll be, but how this year goes for the Jackets could decide Bobrovsky and Panarin’s future in Columbus.
As much as it pains me to say, the Capitals had a rough week last week. First, the Caps took care of business in a Stanley Cup rematch against the Knights in a 5-2 victory. Phoenix Copley - Washington’s backup this season - had a rough first game with the Capitals, losing 6-0 the following night in New Jersey. The Capitals finished things off against the human freight train known as Auston Matthews. They limited him to only one goal, but the Leafs came out on top 4-2. The Caps play two home games this week against the Rangers and Panthers before heading out to western Canada.
Surprisingly, the Islanders have been a much better defensive team than they were last year. However, the offense is struggling to get going at the same time. Every team other than the Devils in the Metro is allowing more goals per game than the Islanders. Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss have been above average in net, with a combined .932 save percentage and goals against average of 2.27. It’s only been four games, but that’s light years ahead of last year’s team that had a combined .903 save percentage and whopping 3.42 goals against average. The Islanders are heading out west for their California trip this week and only play one more home game until November 1st.
Marc-Andre Fleury put on one of his best efforts against a familiar foe when he and the Golden Knights shut out the Flyers 1-0 on Saturday. The Flyers had quite a roller-coaster week this week, losing 8-2 in their home opener against the Sharks. They followed that game up with a 7-4 drumming of Ottawa before falling once more at home against the Knights. The Flyers will play in two division games against the Jackets and Devils this week. The Flyers, along with the rest of the Metro, have some defensive and goalie issues that need worked out.
The Rangers won their first game of this season defeating the Sharks in OT at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. Connor McDavid then put on a show in the Big Apple, scoring the game-winning goal in the third period of a 2-1 victory for the Oilers. The Rangers will play the Avalanche on Tuesday before traveling to DC to battle the Caps in a Metro Division match-up on Wednesday Night Hockey in a nationally televised game. The Rangers wrap up this week in the Metro on Sunday night against Flames.
As always, thanks for reading this week and don’t forget to vote for the Metro game of the week!
2-1-1; 5 pts; 15 Goals For (T-15th in the NHL); 17 Goals Against (T-18th in the NHL)
1-0-1 record last week
Phil is golden all night in Pittsburgh win
MTL: 4 SO
Sloppy second period costs Pittsburgh in SO loss
Tuesday, October 16 - vs VAN, 7 p.m. ET
Thursday, October 18 - @ TOR, 7 p.m.
- 10/13/18, D Justin Schultz - out four months; broken leg
(1) Carolina Hurricanes
4-1-1, 9 pts; 23 GF (2nd); 18 GA (T-20th)
2-1 record last week
Canes Pick Up Decisive 5-3 Win
CAR: 5 OT
Sebastian Aho Leads Hurricanes to Comeback Win Against the Wild
Canes suffer first regulation loss
Tuesday, October 16 - @ TBL, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 20 - vs COL, 1 p.m.
- 9/12/18, C Victor Rask - IR; Hand
- 9/29/18, G Scott Darling - IR; Lower-body injury
(2) New Jersey Devils
3-0-0, 6 pts; 14 GF (18th); 4 GA (1st)
2-0 record last week
New Jersey Devils Gloriously Dominated the Washington Capitals, 6-0
New Jersey Devils Edge San Jose Sharks, 3-2, with a Third Period Comeback
Tuesday, October 16 - vs DAL, 7 p.m.
Thursday, October 18 - vs COL, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 20 - @ PHI, 1 p.m.
- 9/12/18, G Cory Schneider - IR; Hip
- 10/4/18, LW Jesper Bratt - IR; Broken jaw
(3) Columbus Blue Jackets
3-2-0, 6 pts; 16 GF (T-13th); 19 GA (T-22nd)
2-1 record last week
Blue Jackets Find Gas Pedal, Roll Past Avalanche, 5-2
Blue Jackets Survive Abysmal Second Period, Defeat Panthers 5-4
Not as bad as the score indicates, but still not good
Thursday, October 18 - vs PHI, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 20 - vs CHI, 7 p.m.
- 9/24/18, D Seth Jones - IR; Knee
- 10/6/18, C Brandon Dubinsky - IR; Strained oblique
(5) Washington Capitals
2-2-1, 5 pts; 20 GF (T-5th); 19 GA (T-22nd)
1-2 record last week
Washington Reasserts Paternity Over Vegas, Wins 5-2
Kinkaid Blanks Caps 6 to 0
Toronto Topples Caps in Impressive Road Win
Wednesday, October 17 - vs NYR, 7 p.m.
Friday, October 19 - vs FLA, 7 p.m.
- 9/26/18, C Travis Boyd - IR; Lower-body injury
- 10/3/18, RW Tom Wilson - Suspended
(6) New York Islanders
2-2-0, 4 pts; 11 GF (T-20th); 10 GA (T-4th)
1-1 record last week
Robin Lehner with 35-save shutout in Isles debut
First period breakdown sinks Isles
Wednesday, October 17 - @ ANA, 10 p.m.
Thursday, October 18 - @ LAK, 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 20 - @ SJS, 10:30 p.m.
- 10/2/18, C John Stevens - IR; Undisclosed
- 10/2/18, LW Matt Lorito - IR; Undisclosed
- 10/7/18, C Casey Cizikas - IR; Lower-body injury
(7) Philadelphia Flyers
2-3-0, 4 pts; 16 GF (T-13th); 20 GA (T-26th)
1-2 record last week
We’re staring death right in the face
Flyers rebound with 7-4 thumping of Senators
Fleury steals the show in painful 1-0 loss to Vegas
Tuesday, October 16 - vs FLA, 7 p.m.
Thursday, October 18 - @ CBJ, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 20 - vs NJD, 1 p.m.
- 9/20/18, G Michal Neuvirth - IR; Groin
- 9/27/18, C Pascal Laberge - IR; Hip
- 9/27/18, C Corban Knight - IR; Upper-body injury
- 10/1/18, D Samuel Morin - IR; Knee
- 10/5/18, LW James van Riemsdyk - IR; Lower-body injury
- 10/9/18, C Nolan Patrick - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
- 10/13/18, LW Oskar Lindblom - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
(8) New York Rangers
1-4-0, 2 pts; 12 GF (19th); 18 GA (T-20th)
1-1 record last week
NYR: 3 OT
Henrik Lundqvist Makes 41 Saves in 3-2 Overtime Victory vs. San Jose Sharks
Oilers Hand Rangers Fourth Loss of the Season
Tuesday, October 16 - vs COL, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Ocotber 17 - @ WSH, 7 p.m.
Sunday, October 21 - vs CGY, 7 p.m.
- 9/23/18, LW Matt Beleskey - IR; Shoulder
- 10/2/18, C Ben Nieves - IR; Concussion
- Standings via NHL.com as of 10/14/18
- Injuries via hockey-reference as of 10/14/18
Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?
This poll is closed
10.17.18 - NYR @ WSH, 7 p.m. ET; NBCSN
10.18.18 - PHI @ CBJ, 7 p.m.
10.18.18 - PIT @ TOR, 7 p.m.
10.20.18 - NJD @ PHI, 1 p.m.