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Keeping up with the Metropolitans: Week 24

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Your weekly dose of Metropolitan action!

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Montreal Canadiens Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

With only 10 games or less for all the teams in the Metro, one thing is definitely clear. The Metro is nowhere near as dominant as it was last year when the Capitals, Penguins, and Blue Jackets each won 50+ games while the Rangers finished with 48 wins. The Caps and/or Pens need to really turn it up if they want to sniff the 50 win plateau this year. The goal differential in the Metro has been a massive turnaround from last season, as well, which also backs up the less total wins.

The Pens scored a league’s best 282 goals last year, and are still doing fairly well at 6th in the NHL, but that’s still a big drop-off. The Pens weren’t very sharp last year on defense, and should likely end up with even more goals against this season. The goalie carousel has been a major adjustment, as the experience in net has been lacking from the Penguins all year. Granted, Matt Murray does have 2 Cups to his name, but the trio of Murray, Jarry, and DeSmith have started a combined 130 NHL games, with Murray starting in 97. Speaking of Murray, he’s most likely going to finish with more starts last year as well. Not blaming the guy, but not the best way to start off his career as a #1 goalie.

Meanwhile, the Capitals have already given up 32 more goals this year than last, and will need to average nearly 4 goals per game in the final 10 games to surpass their goal total from last year. The Capitals were a much better road team last year, winning 23 games on the road last year while only 16 this year so far. It’s a good thing Ovechkin doesn’t have any quit in him, or the Caps would be in a much bigger hole right now. He’s a rare beast, and on his way to another Richard Trophy.

The Flyers seemed better defensively this season, but are still not much better than last year. They are actually on pace to give up more goals this year(2.95 GAA through 73 games) than last(2.88), but their offense has picked up and that equals more wins, which should likely put them in the playoffs combined with a weaker division. The Flyers are currently positive in goals, after finishing -17 last year. The Flyers biggest surprise this year has been their average home record, as they were lights out last year, but they have also improved the record away from Philadelphia immensely. They finished with only 14 road wins last year, but currently have the best road record in the Metro.

The Devils are the surprise of the year, and are the most improved team in the league. They have already scored 34 more goals this year than last year, and are averaging over 3 goals scored per game this season. In case any forgot, the Devils lost 54 games last year and ended up with the #1 pick. The defense is actually on about an identical pace this year, but the Devils didn’t have Taylor Hall doing his best Incredible Hulk impersonation last year, either. There’s still time for anything to happen, but the Panthers have slipped and now sit 5 points back from the Devils in the WC2 position.

And rounding out the playoff hopefuls in the Metro is the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets have given up the fewest goals in the Metro, but are far from finishing 2nd in the NHL like they did last year. The Jackets scoring has regressed worse than anyone saw coming, but has come to life lately. It was about this time last year when the Jackets started to fade, but it’s been the opposite as of late in Columbus. The Jackets have fired off 8 straight wins and are now breathing down the neck of the Flyers for 3rd place in the Metro. John Tortorella was in deep a few weeks ago, now his team is looking better than ever.

What does all of this mean? Not much, actually. Next week, this recap could look completely different. With how close things are at the moment, we could have another new Metro leader next week. There’s still lots to be settled this year, but time is running out on the regular season.

As always, thanks for reading, and be sure to vote for game of the week!


(2)Pittsburgh Penguins

41-26-5, 87 pts; 237 GF (6th in the NHL; 3rd last week) / 218 GA (20th; 23rd)
1-0-1 record last week

3/14/18
PIT: 3
NYR: 4 OT
Wake me up when the 3rd period ends. Pens sleepwalk to 4-3 OT loss

3/15/18
PIT: 5
MTL: 3
St. Patric’s Day comes early in Pittsburgh win

Week Ahead:

Tuesday March 20 - @ NYI, 7 PM ET

Wednesday March 21 - vs MTL, 7 PM

Friday March 23 - vs NJD, 7 PM

Sunday March 25 - vs PHI, 12:30 PM*

Injuries:

  • 2/25/18, G Matt Murray - Day-to-day; Concusion
  • 3/7/18, LW Dominik Simon - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
  • 3/17/18, C Carter Rowney - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury


(1)Washington Capitals

41-24-7, 89 pts; 225 GF (10th; 11th) / 214 GA (15th; 14th)
3-1 record last week

3/12/18
WPG: 2
WSH: 3 OT
Ovechkin Makes History, Washington Soars 3-2 in OT

3/15/18
WSH: 7
NYI: 3
Washington Wins First of Back-to-Back Battles

3/16/18
NYI: 3
WSH: 6
Vranamatopoeia Means Goals, Washington Rolls 6-3

3/18/19
WSH: 3
PHI: 6
Defensive Zoned Out, Washington Flops to Philly 6-3

Week Ahead:

Tuesday March 20 - vs DAL, 7 PM

Thursday March 22 - @ DET, 7:30 PM

Saturday March 24 - @ MTL, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 3/16/18, C Evgeni Kuznetsov - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
  • 3/17/18, D Brooks Orpik - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury


(3)Philadelphia Flyers

37-25-11, 85 pts; 218 GF (13th) / 215 GA (16th)
2-2 record last week

3/12/18
VGK: 3
PHI: 2
One heartbreak after another

3/15/18
CBJ: 5
PHI: 3
Hello darkness, my old friend

3/17/18
PHI: 4
CAR: 2
A timely push gets things going

3/18/18
WSH: 3
PHI: 6
Oskar Lindblom, many others score in huge win

Week Ahead:

Tuesday March 20 - @ DET, 7:30 PM

Thursday March 22 - vs NYR, 7 PM

Sunday March 25 - @ PIT, 12:30 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
  • 3/18/18, RW Michael Raffl - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury


(4)Columbus Blue Jackets

39-28-5, 83 pts; 200 GF (24th; 23rd) / 199 GA (8th; 11th)
3-0 record last week

3/12/18
MTL: 2
CBJ: 5
Seth Jones Lights the Lamp Twice as Jackets Rout Montreal, 5-2

3/15/18
CBJ: 5
PHI: 3
The Gang Wins Again

3/17/18
OTT: 1
CBJ: 2
Blue Jackets Top Senators to Win Seventh in a Row

Week Ahead:

Monday March 19 - @ BOS, 7 PM

Tuesday March 20 - @ NYR, 7 PM

Thursday March 22 - vs FLA, 7 PM

Saturday March 24 - vs STL, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 3/16/18, D Seth Jones - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury


(5)New Jersey Devils

37-27-8, 82 pts; 217 GF (14th; 12th) / 215 GA (16th; 22nd)
2-1 record last week

3/14/18
NJD: 8
VGK: 3
Devils Erupt, Defeat Golden Knights 8-3

3/17/18
NJD: 3
LAK: 0
Devils Overthrow the Kings, Shut Them Out 3-0

3/18/18
NJD: 2
ANA: 4
New Jersey Devils Decisively Defeated by Anaheim Ducks, 2-4

Week Ahead:

Tuesday March 20 - @ SJS, 10:30 PM

Friday March 23 - @ PIT, 7 PM

Saturday March 24 - vs TBL, 7 PM

Injuries:

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


(6)Carolina Hurricanes

31-30-11, 73 pts; 181 GF (26th) / 206 GA (23rd; 18th)
1-3 record last week

3/12/18
CAR: 3
NYR: 6
Hurricanes Lose Must-Win Game to Rangers

3/13/18
BOS: 6
CAR: 4
Shell-shocked Canes blow three-goal lead in 6-4 loss to Bruins

3/17/18
PHI: 4
CAR: 2
Another third-period collapse dooms Hurricanes in 4-2 loss

3/18/18
CAR: 4
NYI: 3
Canes edge Islanders 4-3

Week Ahead:

Tuesday March 20 - vs EDM, 7 PM

Thursday March 22 - vs ARI, 7 PM

Saturday March 23 - @ OTT, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 3/17/18, Noah Hanifin - Day-to-day; Concussion


(7)New York Rangers

32-32-8, 72 pts; 208 GF (17th; 19th) / 231 GA (26th)
2-0-1 record last week

3/12/18
CAR: 3
NYR: 6
That Was Vesey

3/14/18
PIT: 3
NYR: 4 OT
Mika Zibanejad Ties Game Late and Wins It in Overtime

3/17/18
NYR: 3
STL: 4 OT

Week Ahead:

Tuesday March 20 - vs CBJ, 7 PM

Thursday March 22 - @ PHI, 7 PM

Saturday March 24 - vs BUF, 7 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
  • 3/12/18, D Tony DeAngelo - Day-to-day; Ankle


(8)New York Islanders

30-32-10, 70 pts; 231 GF (8th) / 262 GA (31st)
0-3 record last week

3/15/18
WSH: 7
NYI: 3
Looking for signs of life

3/16/18
NYI: 3
WSH: 6
Losing feels right

3/18/18
CAR: 4
NYI: 3
Only ten games ‘til we’re free

Week Ahead:

Tuesday March 20 - vs PIT, 7 PM

Thursday March 22 - vs TBL, 7 PM

Saturday March 24 - vs CHI, 7 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
  • 3/17/18, D Brandon Davidson - Day-to-day; Undisclosed injury


  • Standings via NHL.com as of 3/19/18
  • Injuries via TSN as of 3/19/18

Poll

Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    3/20/18 - PIT @ NYI, 7 PM ET
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    3/20/18 - CBJ @ NYR, 7 PM
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    3/22/18 - NYR @ PHI, 7 PM
    (0 votes)
  • 27%
    3/23/18 - NJD @ PIT, 7 PM; NHL-N
    (32 votes)
  • 69%
    3/25/18 - PHI @ PIT, 12:30 PM; NBC
    (80 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (1 vote)
115 votes total Vote Now