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Keeping up with the Metropolitans: Week 25

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Your weekly dose of Metropolitan action!

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

The 2017-18 NHL season is coming to an end, and the Metro standings have stayed about the same for a while, but could still change at any moment. The Penguins are currently fighting off the Jackets and Flyers, but the Metro is still within reach to be won by the Penguins. The Penguins have 6 games left to make up 4 points and pass the Capitals for the Metro Banner. It’s not the only banner the Pens are going for, but that would be a nice advantage for the Pens to start the Playoffs with. The game on Sunday night in Pittsburgh against the Capitals looms very large.

The Blue Jackets have made a giant leap and have been the hottest team the NHL until Saturday night when St. Louis came to town and ended their 10 game win streak. The Jackets will now fly out and finish their Western Canada trip against the Oilers, Flames, and Canucks. The Jackets will be coming in hot, but those trips out West are hard to come out of on top. Tortorella knows those teams well,as he coached the Canucks in 2013-14 with Mike Sullivan as an assistant before coaching in Columbus.

The Capitals have been leading the Metro for the better part of the second half and are currently trending upwards with a 7-3 record in the last 10 games. Braden Holtby recently injured his knee and hasn’t played in 7 out of the last 9 games for the Capitals. Fortunately for the Capitals, Philipp Grubauer has played very well this year and is 5-1 with 2 shutouts in his last 6 starts, and is 9-2 in his last 11 decisions. Which goalie the Capitals use in the playoffs may be a big issue as Grubauer has surprisingly better numbers this year than Holtby.

The Flyers are in a somewhat comfortable position with a 3 point lead over the Devils for the WC1 spot, but haven’t been playing their best hockey lately. They did manage a last minute goal to force OT in Pittsburgh on Sunday, but the Flyers have been all over the place this year. That game in Pittsburgh started a 3 game road-trip for the Flyers with the Stars and Avalanche next before returning home for an early Easter Sunday afternoon game against the Bruins. The final three games for the Flyers looks easy enough on paper, as they finish the season in Brooklyn against the Islanders before returning home against the Hurricanes and Rangers to wrap up the year. Chances are the Flyers make it to the dance this year.

Just like the Flyers lead over the Devils, the Devils have that same 3 point cushion over the Panthers. However, it’s anything but comfortable. New Jersey also hasn’t been playing their best hockey lately, and the Panthers still have 2 games in hand over the Devils. Taylor Hall is doing everything he can to finally make it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and has been gaining a lot of steam in the Hart Trophy race. If the Devils make it and he continues his great play, he may just win the Trophy and they could make a splash in the Playoffs. Those are still “ifs” right now, but the Devils control their own fate.

The OTL is carrying the Flyers into the playoffs this year. That’s two more for them this week. They lost 2 out of 3 games, but got the same point equivalent as winning 2 out of 3 games. Their 13 OTL are tied with Anaheim for the most in the NHL. The Devils have one more win in one less game, and the Panthers have the same number of wins in three less games than the Flyers, but both teams trail the Flyers by a considerable margin. It’s great when it favors your team, and I’m all for shootouts, but the loser point needs to be tweaked in my mind. It carried the Maple Leafs last year and will likely impact the Wild Card again this year. Just another joy of Gary Bettman’s NHL.

Thanks for stopping by for another great week in the Metropolitan. Lots of exciting and meaningful games for the contenders this week. As always, stay classy PensBurgh and don’t forget to vote for the game of the week!


(2)Pittsburgh Penguins

43-27-6, 92 pts; 251 GF (3rd in the NHL; 6th last week) / 233 GA (20th)
2-1-1 record last week

3/20/18
PIT: 1
NYI: 4
Pittsburgh rusty, frustrated and lose after long break

3/21/18
MTL: 3
PIT: 5
Not pretty but it’s a win

3/23/18
NJD: 4 OT
PIT: 3
Pittsburgh turns on the heat but falls in OT

3/25/18
PHI: 4
PIT: 5 OT
Sweep Flyers in Season Series with 5-4 OT Win

Week Ahead:

Tuesday March 27 - @ DET, 7:30 PM ET

Thursday March 29 - @ NJD, 7 PM

Saturday March 31 - vs MTL, 7 PM

Sunday April 1 -vs WSH, 7:30 PM

Injuries:

  • 2/23/18, C Zach Aston-Reese - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
  • 3/17/18, C Carter Rowney - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury


(1)Washington Capitals

44-24-7, 95 pts; 236 GF (10th) / 221 GA (15th)
3-0 record last week

3/20/17
DAL: 3
WSH: 4
Americans and Russians Collude to Down Dallas

3/22/18
WSH: 1
DET: 0
Grubi Grubi Grubi Grubi! Washington Drops Detroit 1-0

3/24/17
WSH: 6
MTL: 4
Washington Eliminates Montreal

Week Ahead:

Monday March 26 - @ NYR, 7:30 PM

Wednesday March 28 - vs NYR, 8 PM

Friday March 30 - vs CAR, 7 PM

Sunday April 1 - @ PIT, 7:30 PM

Injuries:

  • 3/21/18, G Braden Holtby - Day-to-day; Knee


(3)Columbus Blue Jackets

42-29-5, 89 pts; 215 GF (19th; 24th) / 208 GA (9th; 8th)
3-1 record last week

3/19/18
CBJ: 5 OT
BOS: 4
Jackets Streak Presses on After Overtime Win in Boston

3/20/18
CBJ: 5
NYR: 3
Artemi Panarin Hat Trick Powers Columbus to Their Ninth Straight Win

3/22/18
FLA: 0
CBJ: 4
Three Second Period Goals Push Jackets’ Streak to 10

3/24/18
STL: 2
CBJ: 1
Blues, Allen Come up Big, Blue Jackets’ Streak Over at 10

Week Ahead:

Tuesday March 27 - @ EDM, 9 PM

Thursday March 29 - @ CGY, 9 PM

Saturday March 31 - @ VAN, 4 PM

Injuries:

  • 3/21/18 - C, Lukas Sedlak - Day-to-day; Head


(4)Philadelphia Flyers

38-25-13, 89 pts; 230 GF (13th) / 228 GA (18th; 16th)
1-0-2 record last week

3/20/18
PHI: 4
DET: 5 SO
This all feels about right

3/22/18
NYR: 3
PHI: 4
This has been the Claude Giroux power hour

3/25/18
PHI: 4
PIT: 5 OT
Flyers earn point late, outlasted by Penguins in OT

Week Ahead:

Tuesday March 27 - @ DAL, 8:30 PM

Wednesday March 28 - @ COL, 10 PM

Sunday April 1 - vs BOS, 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


(5)New Jersey Devils

39-28-8, 86 pts; 225 GF (14th) / 225 GA (17th; 16th)
2-1 record last week

3/20/18
NJD: 2
SJS: 6
Devils Drown in the Shark Tank, Lose 6-2

3/23/18
NJD: 4 OT
PIT: 3
New Jersey Devils Prevail in Rollercoaster Game over Pittsburgh Penguins

3/24/18
TBL: 1
NJD: 2
New Jersey Devils Hold On for Another Crucial Win over Tampa Bay Lightning

Week Ahead:

Tuesday March 27 - vs CAR, 7 PM

Thursday March 29 - vs PIT, 7 PM

Saturday March 31 - vs NYI, 7 PM

Sunday April 1 - @ MTL, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 1/23/18, LW Marcus Johansson - IR; Concussion
  • 3/19/18, LW Miles Wood- Day-to-day; Upper-body injury


(6)Carolina Hurricanes

33-31-11, 77 pts; 208 GF (24th; 26th) / 239 GA (24th 23rd)
2-1 record last week

3/20/18
EDM: 7
CAR: 3
Oilers top Canes in a 7-3 snoozer

3/22/18
ARI: 5
CAR: 6
Zykov, Skinner Lead Hurricanes Past Coyotes, 6-5

3/24/18
CAR: 5
OTT: 2
Hurricanes’ Offense Comes Alive in 5-2 Win Over the Senators

Week Ahead:

Monday March 26 - vs OTT, 7 PM

Tuesday March 27 - @ NJD, 7 PM

Friday March 30 - @ WSH, 7 PM

Saturday March 31 - vs NYR, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 3/20/18, D Brett Pesce - Day-to-day; Shoulder
  • 3/20/18, C Victor Rask - Day-to-day; Shoulder
  • 3/22/18, D Justin Faulk - Day-to-day; Shoulder Soreness


(7)New York Rangers

33-34-8, 74 pts; 219 GF (17th) / 241 GA (25th; 26th)
1-2 record last week

3/20/18
CBJ: 5
NYR: 3
Panarin’s Hat Trick Downs Rangers at MSG

3/22/18
NYR: 3
PHI: 4
The Tank Rolls On

3/24/18
BUF: 1
NYR: 5
Georgiev, Rangers Dominate Sabres 5-1

Week Ahead:

Monday March 26 - vs WSH, 7:30 PM

Wednesday March 28 - @ WSH, 8 PM

Friday March 30 - vs TBL, 7 PM

Saturday March 31 - @ CAR, 7 PM

Injuries:

  • 1/18/18, D Kevin Shattenkirk - IR; Torn meniscus
  • 2/11/18, D Steven Kampfer - IR; Fractured hand
  • 3/12/18, D Tony DeAngelo - Day-to-day; Ankle
  • 3/20/18, G Henrik Lundqvist - Day-to-day; Back


(8)New York Islanders

31-34-10, 72 pts; 242 GF (7th; 8th) / 273 GA (31st)
1-2 record last week

3/20/18
PIT: 1
NYI: 4
Where have you been?

3/22/18
TBL: 7
NYI: 6
That escalated quickly, and several times

3/24/18
CHI: 3
NYI: 1
Whatever

Week Ahead:

Monday March 26 - vs FLA, 7 PM

Tuesday March 27 - @ OTT, 7:30 PM

Friday March 30 - vs TOR, 7 PM

Saturday March 31 - @ NJD, 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


  • Standings via NHL.com as of 3/25/18
  • Injuries via TSN as of 3/25/18

Poll

Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    3/26/18 - WSH @ NYR, 7:30 PM ET; NBCSN, 3/28/18 - NYR @ WSH, 8 PM; NBCSN
    (7 votes)
  • 10%
    3/29/18 - PIT @ NJD, 7 PM
    (19 votes)
  • 1%
    4/1/18 - BOS @ PHI, 12:30 PM; NBC
    (2 votes)
  • 84%
    4/1/18 - WSH @ PIT, 7:30 PM; NBCSN
    (158 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (0 votes)
186 votes total Vote Now