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Keeping up with the Metropolitans: Week 23

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Your weekly dose of Metropolitan action!

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin in less than a month, and the Penguins are back in first place! That’s right, the puck drops for the Playoffs on April 11th. That means that there’s only a month left for teams to pick up points to qualify for the playoffs, and also for the Metropolitan Division to sort itself out for playoff seeding. Much to the delight of hockey fans, the NHL Playoffs are set up by divisional brackets, instead of your typical 1vs8, 2vs7, etc. match-ups. These last few weeks are going to be very pivotal in how the playoffs shake out next month. The Penguins currently own the best home record in the NHL. Needless to say, finishing first in the Metro would be a big advantage this spring for the Pens.

The Hurricanes and Islanders aren’t officially out of it yet, but neither seem to have enough life left to make a final push for the playoffs. Since there are really only 5 true playoff teams remaining in the Metro, here’s a break down of each team’s schedule the rest of the way:

Pittsburgh Penguins - 84 pts

  • 12 games remaining - 6 home / 6 away
  • 5 games against (potential) playoff teams - 3 home / 2 away:
  • 3/23 vs NJD, 3/25 vs PHI, 3/29 @ NJD, 4/1 vs WSH, 4/5 @ CBJ
  • All potential playoff opponents are from Metro division
  • 7 games against non-playoff teams - 3 home / 4 away:
  • 3/14 @ NYR, 3/15 @ MTL, 3/20 @ NYI, 3/21 vs MTL, 3/27 @ DET, 3/31 vs MTL, 4/6 vs OTT(Game #82)
  • Three games against MTL in the final 12. MTL has a current record of 25-31-12.

Washington Capitals - 83 points

  • 14 games remaining - 7 home / 7 away
  • 8 games against (potential) playoff teams - 5 home / 3 away:
  • 3/12 vs WPG, 3/18 @ PHI, 3/20 vs DAL, 3/30 vs CAR, 4/1 @ PIT, 4/2 @ STL, 4/5 vs NSH, 4/6 vs NJD(Game #82)
  • 6 games against non-playoff teams - 2 home / 4 away:
  • 3/15 @ NYI, 3/16 vs NYI, 3/22 @ DET, 3/24 @ MTL, 3/26 @ NYR, 3/28 vs NYR

Philadelphia Flyers - 81 points

  • 13 games remaining - 7 home / 6 away
  • 9 games against (potential) playoff teams - 5 home / 4 away:
  • 3/12 vs VGK, 3/15 vs CBJ, 3/17 @ CAR, 3/18 vs WSH, 3/25 @ PIT, 3/27 @ DAL, 3/28 @ COL, 4/1 vs BOS, 4/5 vs CAR
  • 4 games against non-playoff teams - 2 home / 2 away:
  • 3/20 @ DET, 3/22 vs NYR, 4/3 @ NYI, 4/7 vs NYR(Game #82)

New Jersey Devils - 78 points

  • 13 games remaining - 6 home / 7 away
  • Next 9 games on the Devils schedule are against playoff teams
  • 10 games against (potential) playoff teams - 4 home / 6 away
  • 3/14 @ VGK, 3/17 @ LAK, 3/18 @ ANA, 3/20 @ SJS, 3/23 @ PIT, 3/24 vs TBL, 3/27 vs CAR, 3/29 vs PIT, 4/5 vs TOR, 4/7 @ WSH(Game #82)
  • 3 games against non-playoff teams - 2 home / 1 away:
  • 3/31 vs NYI, 4/1 @ MTL, 4/3 vs NYR

Columbus Blue Jackets - 77 points

  • 13 games remaining - 6 home / 7 away
  • 7 games against (potential) playoff teams - 3 home / 4 away:
  • 3/15 @ PHI, 3/19 @ BOS, 3/22 vs FLA, 3/24 vs STL, 3/29 @ CGY, 4/5 vs PIT, 4/7 @ NSH(Game #82)
  • 6 games against non-playoff teams - 3 home / 3 away:
  • 3/12 vs MTL, 3/17 vs OTT, 3/20 @ NYR, 3/27 @ EDM, 3/31 @ VAN, 4/3 vs DET

The Florida Panthers are 8-0-1 in their last 9 and are only 2 points behind the Blue Jackets for the final WC position. Fortunately for the Jackets, they’ve won 4 in a row themselves to keep that 2 point cushion over the Cats. The bad news for CBJ is that the Panthers still have 3 games in hand over the Jackets. The two teams will play one more game before the season ends on March 22nd in Columbus. That could be the deciding game when the season ends a few weeks later. The Devils aren’t feeling too comfortable in their position either, but it appears that the Wild Card will likely come down to two of the Devils, Jackets, and Panthers.

As always folks, thanks for reading this weekly recap and be sure to vote for the Metro game of the week! Thanks for stopping by, and LET’S GO PENS!!!


(1)Pittsburgh Penguins

40-26-4, 78 pts; 229 GF (3rd in the NHL; 5th last week) / 211 GA (23rd)
3-1 record last week

3/5/18
CGY: 3
PIT: 4 OT
Schultz chuggin’ past the Gillies suit

3/7/18
PIT: 5
PHI: 2
Fly Penguins Fly, on the road to VICTORY!

3/10/18
PIT: 2
TOR: 5
Ain’t no fun (if the refs can’t have none). Pens lose

3/11/18
DAL: 1
PIT: 3
Penguins Dim the Stars with 3-1 Win

Week Ahead:

Wednesday March 14 - @ NYR, 8 PM ET

Thursday March 15 - @ MTL, 7:30 PM

Injuries:

  • 2/25/18, G Matt Murray - Day-to-day; Concusion
  • 3/7/18, LW Dominik Simon - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
  • 3/7/18, LW Bryan Rust - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury


(2)Washington Capitals

38-23-7, 83 pts; 206 GF (11th; 9th) / 200 GA (14th; 18th)
1-2 record last week

3/6/18
WSH: 0
ANA: 4
Ducks Drown D.C.

3/8/18
WSH: 1
LAK: 3
Los Angeles Defends Their Keep

3/10/18
WSH: 2
SJS: 0
Caps Sink Sharks to End Brief Losing Skid

Week Ahead:

Monday March 12 - vs WPG, 7 PM

Thursday March 15 - @ NYI, 7 PM

Friday March 16 - vs NYI, 7 PM

Sunday March 18 - @ PHI, 5 PM

Injuries:

  • None


(3)Philadelphia Flyers

35-23-11, 79 pts; 203 GF (13th; 12th) / 202 GA (16th; 12th)
1-2 record last week

3/7/18
PIT: 5
PHI: 2
The losing streak hits four, baby

3/8/18
PHI: 2
BOS: 3
Anybody else feel like they’ve seen this game before?

3/10/18
WPG: 1
PHI: 2
Mrazek grounds Winnipeg, puts an end to the five-game losing streak

Week Ahead:

Monday March 12 - vs VGK, 7 PM

Thursday March 15 - vs CBJ, 7 PM

Saturday March 17 - @ CAR, 7 PM

Sunday March 18 - vs WSH, 5 PM

Injuries:

  • 10/3/17, RW Colin McDonald - IR; Lower-body injury
  • 2/10/18, G Brian Elliott - IR; Core muscle surgery
  • 2/18/18, G Michal Neuvirth - IR; Lower-body injury
  • 3/4/18, D Johnny Oduya - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
  • 3/9/18, D Robert Hagg - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury


(4)New Jersey Devils

35-26-8, 78 pts; 204 GF (12th; 16th) / 208 GA (22nd; 21st)
2-1 record last week

3/6/18
MTL: 4
NJD: 6
New Jersey Devils Goal Explosion Blew Up Montreal & Losing Streak with 6-4 Win

3/8/18
WPG: 3
NJD: 2
New Jersey Devils Limp into Road Trip with 2-3 Defeat to Winnipeg Jets

3/10/18
NJD: 3 SO
NSH: 2
New Jersey Devils Escape Nashville with Two Stolen Points in a 3-2 Shootout Win

Week Ahead:

Wednesday March 14 - @ VGK, 10 PM

Saturday March 17 - @ LAK, 4 PM

Sunday March 18 - @ ANA, 9 PM

Injuries:

  • 1/23/18, LW Marcus Johansson - IR; Concussion
  • 3/6/18, C Pavel Zacha - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
  • 3/8/18, C Travis Zajac - Day-to-day; Undisclosed


(5)Columbus Blue Jackets

36-28-5, 77 pts; 188 GF (23rd; 27th) / 193 GA (11th)
3-0 record last week

3/6/18
VGK: 1
CBJ: 4
Korpisalo, Blue Jackets Slay Golden Knights 4-1

3/8/18
COL: 4
CBJ: 5 OT
Three in a Row

3/9/18
DET: 2
CBJ: 3
Blue Jackets Hang On Against Detroit for Their Fourth Straight Win

Week Ahead:

Monday March 12 - vs MTL, 7 PM

Thursday March 15 - @ PHI, 7 PM

Saturday March 17 - vs OTT, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 2/16/18, D Markus Nutivaara - IR; Undisclosed injury
  • 2/18/18, D Dean Kukan - IR; Upper-body injury


(6)Carolina Hurricanes

30-27-11, 71 pts; 181 GF (26th; 25th) / 206 GA (18th; 19th)
1-1 record last week

3/6/18
CAR: 2
MIN: 6
Hurricanes Suffer Lopsided 6-2 Loss to Wild

3/8/18
CAR: 3
CHI: 2
Hurricanes Keep Playoff Hopes Alive in 3-2 Win Over Blackhawks

Week Ahead:

Monday March 12 - @ NYR, 7 PM

Tuesday March 13 - vs BOS, 7 PM

Saturday March 17 - vs PHI, 7 PM

Sunday March 18 - @ NYI, 5 PM

Injuries:

  • None


(7)New York Islanders

30-29-10, 70 pts; 222 GF (8th; 6th) / 245 GA (31st)
1-0-2 record last week

3/5/18
NYI: 3
VAN: 4 OT
Finding a way to lose

3/8/18
NYI: 1
EDM: 2 SO
Gibson just misses shutout, McDavid finishes Isles off

3/11/18
NYI: 5
CGY: 2
Christopher Gibson tops Returning Mike Smith in Islanders 5-2 Victory

Week Ahead:

Thursday March 15 - vs WSH, 7 PM

Friday March 16 - @ WSH, 7 PM

Sunday March 18 - vs CAR, 5 PM

Injuries:

  • 11/6/17, LW Nikolay Kulemin - IR; Upper-body injury
  • 12/16/17, D Calvin de Haan - IR; Upper-body injury
  • 1/18/18, LW Shane Prince - IR; Upper-body injury
  • 2/6/18, D Scott Mayfield - IR; Lower-body injury
  • 2/16/18, G Thomas Greiss - IR; Lower-body inury
  • 2/22/18, C Alan Quine - IR; Lower-body injury


(8)New York Rangers

30-32-7, 67 pts; 195 GF (19th; 17th) / 221 GA (26th; 25th)
0-2-1 record last week

3/6/18
WPG: 3
NYR: 0
Laine’s Hat Trick Fuels Jets 3-0 Win Over Rangers

3/8/18
NYR: 3
TBL: 5
Bolts Score Early and Often in 5-3 Victory

3/10/18
NYR: 3
FLA: 4 SO
Rangers Fall to Panthers 4-3 in the Shootout

Week Ahead:

Monday March 12 - vs CAR, 7 PM

Wednesday March 14 - vs PIT, 8 PM

Saturday March 17 - @ STL, 8 PM

Injuries:

  • 1/18/18, D Kevin Shattenkirk - IR; Torn meniscus
  • 2/8/18, G Ondrej Pavelec - IR; Sprained MCL
  • 2/11/18, D Steven Kampfer - IR; Fractured hand


  • Standings via NHL.com as of 3/11/18
  • Injuries via TSN as of 3/11/18

Poll

Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    3/12/18 - VGK (MAF) @ PHI, 7 PM ET
    (12 votes)
  • 18%
    3/14/18 - PIT @ NYR, 8 PM; NBCSN
    (18 votes)
  • 5%
    3/15/18 - WSH @ NYI, 7 PM; 3/16/18 - NYI @ WSH, 7 PM; NHL-N
    (5 votes)
  • 9%
    3/15/18 - CBJ @ PHI, 7 PM
    (9 votes)
  • 52%
    3/18/18 - WSH @ PHI, 5 PM; NHL-N
    (50 votes)
  • 2%
    Other
    (2 votes)
96 votes total Vote Now