Hockey is fun again! After a losing streak not felt since the Penguins’ Dark Ages, and with even more bad vibes surrounding the team with the absence of captain Sidney Crosby, the Penguins finally pulled off a winning week last week. It was officially a 2-0-2 week for Pittsburgh, and I’m sure the entire organization will take that considering how bad things had gotten in the standings. The Penguins are no longer in the basement, but it wasn’t all good news for Pittsburgh last week. The Penguins announced that goaltender Matt Murray will be out “long-term” due to injury. The Penguins are now going with the Jarry-DeSmith duo that wasn’t such a bad duo last season. Hopefully Murray gets the rest and rehab he needs to get back to the level we were accustomed to in his first two years with Pittsburgh.
The Penguins looked to have rebounded nicely to begin the week, before the red-hot Buffalo Sabres stormed back from a three goal deficit before sealing the deal in overtime. The Penguins would rebound nicely, and not let up two nights later in the Pens’ first complete game in forever with a 5-1 victory over Dallas on Wednesday. News broke on Thanksgiving Day that Murray was out, and Tristan Jarry got his first start with Pittsburgh this season in Boston. The Penguins would also drop that one in overtime, but it was another complete game with both goalies starring in that game. Pittsburgh wrapped things up the next night with a dominant performance by Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel in an important early season division game against Columbus.
The Pens fly into Canada to face Winnipeg on Tuesday night before heading to Colorado to play the Avalanche on Wednesday night that will wrap up this month’s slate of games. The Penguins are 3-6-3 this month, and will be looking to gather themselves on this short road trip. The Penguins finish this week and kick off December on Saturday with an always interesting home game when Philadelphia comes to town.
The Capitals had themselves quite a week and have taken ownership of the Metropolitan Crown again after going 4-0 last week and are winners of five straight overall. The Capitals played a thrilling up-and-down game in Montreal before winning in overtime to begin the week and then quickly shut down a comeback bid by Chicago in a 4-2 victory in DC two nights later. The Caps started off very slow against Detroit on Friday before winning that contest 3-1. The Capitals moved into first place with another up-and-down game at MSG on Saturday afternoon and sealed a 5-3 victory with two goals in the last 6 minutes.
Braden Holtby came in relief in the Montreal game and has been nearly unbeatable since. He was injured for several games, but has looked good since his return. Evgeny Kuznetsov and TJ Oshie are both still out since that Winnipeg game, but the Capitals have found ways to keep on winning without them. The Capitals wrap up a quick two game New York road trip at Barclays Center on Monday before facing Metro opponent New Jersey back in DC on Friday. The Capitals have a light workload this week and will only be playing those two games.
The Blue Jackets only played three games this week, and lost two out those three games. The Jackets played a home-and-home with Toronto with both teams winning 4-2 on home ice. The Jackets then came into Pittsburgh and witnessed another Crosby dominated game with Jake Guentzel scoring another hat trick against their franchise. It was a tough week for Columbus, but the Jackets are still sitting pretty in second place in the Metro. The Jackets resume play this week in Detroit on Monday before hosting the Wild at Nationwide Arena on Thursday night. Columbus wraps this week up against the Islanders in the first game at Nassau Coliseum since 2015.
Speaking of the Islanders, they had an even week at 2-2 with two ugly losses to begin the week followed by two divisional wins to finish the week. The Stars and Rangers thrashed the Isles by a combined 11-2 score in two regulation losses before the Islanders responded after Thanksgiving with an overtime win in New Jersey followed by a complete 4-1 victory over Carolina in Brooklyn on Saturday. The Islanders could likely be battling for first place in the Metro when the Capitals are in town on Monday night. The Isles hit the road to Boston on Thursday before returning back to Nassau Coliseum when the Isles host the Jackets on Saturday. You better believe that will be a raucous atmosphere.
The Rangers also went 2-2 this week, but did it in almost the exact opposite way as the Islanders - starting off with two wins followed by two divisional losses. The Rangers handled the Stars to begin the week and then dismantled the Islanders on Wednesday at MSG. The Rangers followed that up with an ugly shutout loss on national TV Friday afternoon in Philadelphia and were then shown up at home by the Capitals on Saturday. The Rangers are still much better than expected as November is coming to an end. The Rangers play a home-and-home with Ottawa in New York on Monday and in Ottawa on Thursday to finish the month of November. The Rangers start December with a back-to-back in Montreal on Saturday and then in NYC on Sunday against Winnipeg.
The Hurricanes had plenty to be thankful for this week - winning three straight home games before dropping their game to the Islanders on Saturday in Brooklyn. The Canes gave up only four goals in their three home wins before allowing four to the Islanders in a loss. The Canes proved this week that one good week can change the entire outlook for your team and your place in the division. Last week the Canes were doom-and-gloom. This week it’s all fun and games again for Carolina. Carolina has a light workload this week. They are in Montreal on Tuesday night before the Ducks are in Raleigh on Friday night. That game vs Anaheim is their last home game before the Canes head out for their Cali trip that will also end in Anaheim.
The Flyers began the week slow with three days of rest before playing three games in four days to finish this week. The Flyers shut out the Rangers in front of a national audience, but it was otherwise a bad week for Philadelphia. The Flyers lost their other two games in Buffalo and Toronto by a combined 11-2 score. It seems to be all or nothing with them, and it’s been ‘nothing’ more often than not the past few weeks. The Flyers are 1-4-1 the last two weeks and have been outscored 22-8 in those five losses. The Flyers wrap up a favorable home scheduled month of November in Philly against Ottawa on Tuesday before hitting the road to start December in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Flyers play 14 games in December with only 4 being played in Philadelphia.
The Devils had a mixed week going 1-1-1. The Devils began their game against Carolina allowing two goals in the first 30 seconds of that game which ultimately sealed their fate in a 2-1 regulation loss in Carolina. The Devils flexed their muscles on home ice against Montreal three nights later in a much needed 5-2 victory for the Devils. The Devils would then tie the game at 3 with a very late goal before losing to the Islanders in overtime to wrap up their week. New Jersey will have a busy week with back-to-back games to start and end this week. They start off with games in Tampa and Sunrise, Florida on Sunday and Monday before playing the Capitals in DC on Friday and wrap up this week back home against Winnipeg on Saturday.
That wraps up another crazy week in the Metropolitan, and this week ends with the turning of the calendar to December. The Capitals are in first place this week, who will be there next week? As always, thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to vote for game of the week!
9-8-5; 23 pts; 74 Goals For (T-14th in the NHL; T-16th last week); 71 Goals Against (T-17th in the NHL; T-18th last week)
2-0-2 record last week
BUF: 5 OT
Penguins blow three-goal lead, lose to Sabres in OT 5-4
Pittsburgh thumps Dallas with big return from Sidney Crosby
BOS: 2 OT
Halak’d again..Pittsburgh falls in overtime
Guentzel’s hat trick pulls Pens past Columbus
Tuesday, November 27 - @ WPG, 8 p.m. ET
Wednesday, November 28 - @ COL, 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 1 - vs PHI, 7 p.m.
- 10/13/18, D Justin Schultz - IR; fractured leg
- 11/18/18, C Matt Cullen - IR; Lower-body injury
- 11/21/18, G Matt Murray - IR, Lower-body injury
- 11/22/18, C Derek Grant - Day-to-day; Undisclosed injury
- 11/23/18, RW Patric Hornqvist - Day-to-day; Concussion
13-7-3, 29 pts; 80 GF (5th; T-11th); 73 GA (T-20th; T-22nd)
4-0 record last week
WSH: 5 OT
Overtime Needed To Prevail In Back-And-Forth Affair
Holtby, Wilson Lead Caps to 3-1 Victory
Late Goal by Connolly Lifts Caps past Rangers 5-3
Monday, November 26 - @ NYI, 7 p.m.
Friday, November 30 - vs NJD, 7 p.m.
- 10/30/18, D Brooks Orpik - IR; Lower-body injury
- 11/13/18, C Evgeny Kuznetsov - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
- 11/13/18, RW TJ Oshie - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
13-8-2, 28 pts; 77 GF (6th; 4th); 73 GA (T-20th; T-22nd)
1-2 record last week
Blue Jackets Strike First, But Fall to Maple Leafs 4-2
Revenge Is a Dish Best Served On Ice
Jackets can’t answer Guentzel Hat Trick
Monday, November 26 - @ DET, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 29 - vs MIN, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 1 - @ NYI, 7 p.m.
12-8-2, 26 pts; 71 GF (T-16th; T-14th); 64 GA (7th; T-4th)
2-2 record last week
That wasn’t very fun at all
One to forget
NYI: 4 OT
Barzal winner overcomes blown leads
Continuing to dominate the division
Monday, November 26 - vs WSH, 7 p.m.
Thursday, November 29 - @ BOS, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 1 - vs CBJ, 7 p.m.; Return to Nassau Coliseum
- 10/2/18, C John Stevens - IR; Undisclosed
- 10/2/18, LW Matt Lorito - IR; Undisclosed
- 11/2/18, LW Matt Martin - IR; Upper-body injury
- 11/13/18, C Casey Cizikas - IR; Lower-body injury
- 11/13/18, LW Andrew Ladd - IR; Right leg
12-10-2, 26 pts; 71 GF (T-16th; T-14th); 74 GA (T-24th; T-23rd)
2-2 record last week
Rangers Win Sixth Straight Game at MSG
Chytil Extends Goal Streak to Five Games, Georgiev Picks Up First NHL Shutout
Capitals End Rangers’ Home Winning Streak
Monday, November 26 - vs OTT, 7 p.m.
Thursday, November 29 - @ OTT, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 1 - @ MTL, 7 p.m.
- 10/24/18, D Adam McQuaid - IR; Lower-body injury
- 11/11/18, RW Pavel Buchnevich - IR; Broken Thumb
- 11/20/18, LW Cody McLeod - Day-to-day; Fractured left hand
- 11/23/18, RW Mats Zuccarello - Day-to-day; Groin
11-9-3, 25 pts; 63 GF (T-25th; 27th); 66 GA (T-9th; T-13th)
3-1 record last week
Hurricanes Ride Hot Start, Solid Performance from McElhinney to Important Win
Canes strike quick again in 5-2 win
Martinook’s First NHL Hat Trick Lifts Hurricanes to 4-1 Win Over Panthers
Isles skate past Canes in 4-1 beatdown
Tuesday, November 27 - @ MTL, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 30 - vs ANA, 7:30 p.m.
- 11/11/18, D Brett Pesce - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
- 11/22/18, Haydn Fleury - Day-to-day; Concussion
10-11-2, 22 pts; 69 GF (T-18th; T-12th); 82 GA (T-28th; 29th)
1-2 record last week
Flyers lose to Sabres. Feels about right
Finally! A win!
The Flyers went to Toronto and forget there was a hockey game to play
Tuesday, November 27 - vs OTT, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 1 - @ PIT, 7 p.m.
- 9/27/18, C Pascal Laberge - IR; Hip
- 10/1/18, D Samuel Morin - IR; Knee
- 10/21/18, LW Michael Raffl - IR; Lower-body injury
- 10/26/18, C Corban Knight - IR; Dislocated collarbone
- 11/2/18, G Michal Neuvirth - IR; Undisclosed injury
- 11/15/18, G Brian Elliott - IR; Lower-body injury
- 11/23/18, G Alex Lyon - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
9-9-3, 21 pts; 63 GF (T-25th; T-23rd); 67 GA (13th; 16th)
1-1-1 record last week
New Jersey Devils Top Six Punched Out Carey Price & Montreal Canadiens, 5-2
NYI: 4 OT
Frustration & Overtime Failure Forced New Jersey Devils Fall to New York Islanders
Sunday, November 25 - @ TBL, 7 p.m.
Monday, November 26 - @ FLA, 7 p.m.
Friday, November 30 - @ WSH, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 1 - vs WPG, 7 p.m.
- 10/19/18, D Steven Santini - IR; Broken jaw
- 11/22/18, RW Joey Anderson - IR; Lower-body injury
Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?
This poll is closed
11.26.18 - WSH @ NYI, 7 p.m. ET
11.27.18 - PIT @ WPG, 7 p.m.
11.30.18 - NJD @ WSH - 7 p.m.
12.1.18 - PHI @ PIT, 7 p.m.
12.1.18 - CBJ @ NYI; Nassau Coliseum, 7 p.m.