The NHL hit a hiatus for it’s annual All Star Weekend, and the Metropolitan came out on top in the event, defeating the Central Division 10-5 in the Final yesterday. This just in: Sidney Crosby is a winner! He only scored four goals and four assists in the two games to take home MVP honors. Is there anything this guy can’t do?
The Islanders lost 3-2 in a shootout in Chicago on Wednesday to go along with a second straight 19 save shutout performance by an Islanders goalie last Sunday in a 3-0 victory at Nassau Coliseum over the Anaheim Ducks. That loss to Chicago ended the Islanders five game win streak, but extended their points streak to six games.
The Islanders now begin their All Star break and bye week and resume play with a back-to-back at Nassau Coliseum against the Lightning and Kings on February 1 and 2. The Islanders have been on fire the last few weeks, and their bye may have come at the worst possible time with how well they’ve been playing. Will they be able to keep up this incredible first year with Barry Trotz behind the bench the rest of the way? Time will tell.
While the bye week came at the worst time for the Islanders, it came at the absolute best time for the Capitals. The Capitals lost all three games last week by a combined score of 21-14 and have now dropped seven straight contests.
Last week started in Chicago on Sunday afternoon and the Hawks scored early and often to out-duel the Caps in an 8-5 hockey game. The Capitals thought they had one in the books behind the strength of Ovechkin’s 24th career hat trick, but the San Jose Sharks tied the game in the final second of the third period to tie it at 6 before Tomas Hertl would score his third of the game to win it overtime 7-6 for the Sharks. The Capitals were in Toronto less than 24 hours after that stinging loss and endured another ugly 6-3 loss to stumble into the All Star Weekend on a seven game losing streak.
Despite that extended losing streak, the Capitals are still in second place in the Metro, but there are certainly alarm bells ringing for the Capitals and their fans right now. The good news for the Caps is they won’t again until February 1 against Calgary which kicks off a six game homestand that will last until February 12th. They will then start a six game road trip that will last until February 24.
The remaining Metro team in action last week was the Carolina Hurricanes who were in western Canada. The Canes rebounded from two ugly losses in Edmonton on Sunday and dispelled the Oilers by a final of 7-4. Nino Niederreiter would score his first two goals with Carolina in the 1st period of that game and the Canes kept their foot on the gas the entire game. Sebastian Aho would tie the game at two in Calgary on Tuesday with 45 seconds left in the third period before Mikael Backlund scored 15 seconds in overtime to extend the Flames’ point streak to nine-straight games.
The Hurricanes would extend their point streak to three straight the following night in Vancouver. It was a night of ‘firsts’ as Alex Nedeljkovic made his first career start and won his first career game. He was drafted 37th overall in 2014 by Carolina and has a 51-17-2 record in the AHL the last two seasons. It was also the Hurricanes’ first win in Vancouver this millennium! Their last victory in Vancouver was October 15, 1999. Nedeljkovic was only three years old!
The Canes will now have their All Star break and bye week and sit in fifth place in the Metro with 54 points, four points behind the Penguins who are currently the second Wild Card team. The Hurricanes pick back up on February 1 when they will host the Vegas Golden Knights.
The rest of the Metro other than those three teams will begin play again now that the All-Star Weekend has reached its conclusion. The Penguins will resume play Monday night against the New Jersey Devils at home before also hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday. The homestand for Pittsburgh ends on Friday night when Ottawa visits Pittsburgh before the Pens fly to Toronto to take on the Leafs on Saturday night.
Columbus kicks off the second half of the year at home against Buffalo on Tuesday night before heading north to Winnipeg on Thursday night to close out the month of January. They return home for one game against St. Louis on Saturday before heading out west to play Central and Pacific Division teams the following week.
The Rangers will resume play this week against two Metro rivals and current bottom dwellers. The Flyers will be at MSG on Tuesday night before the Rangers make the short trip to Newark to play the Devils on Thursday. The Tampa Bay Lightning will close out next week for the Rangers which will begin a five game homestand for New York on Saturday night.
The Flyers will have a busy week next week to resume play post All-Star Weekend. The Winnipeg Jets will have to deal with Gritty and the Flyers in Philadelphia on Monday before the Flyers take on the Rangers in NYC on Tuesday. The Flyers will then be in Boston on Thursday night for their third game in four nights. The Flyers return home to face the Fightin’ McDavids on Saturday afternoon in Philly and the Flyers won’t have another road game until February 12.
The Devils have a light workload this week and will begin on the road in Pittsburgh on Monday before returning home and hosting the Ranger on Thursday. This week will end in Montreal for the Devils on Saturday afternoon.
So the season is now over 50 percent complete and the sprint to the finish has already begun. The trading deadline is February 25, and hasn't been too thrilling the last several years but is always a fun time before the dust settles and the playoffs begin.
Thanks for reading again this week and be sure to stop by next week for the latest edition of Keeping up with the Metropolitans!
26-16-6; 58 pts; 169 Goals For (6th in the NHL; 4th last week); 146 Goals Against (T-13th; T-17th)
Monday, January 28 - vs NJD, 7 p.m. ET
Wednesday, January 30 - vs TBL, 8 p.m.
Friday, February 1 - v OTT, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 2 - @ TOR, 7 p.m.
- 10/13/18, D Justin Schultz - IR; fractured leg
- 1/8/19, LW Zach Aston-Reese - IR; Upper-body injury
29-15-5 63 pts; 147 GF (T-16th; T-17th); 122 GA (1st)
1-0-1 record last week
Clutter-breakout extends win streak, first-place lead
CHI: 3 SO
Onto the All-Star Break
Friday, February 1 - vs TBL; Nassau Coliseum, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 2 - vs LAK; Nassau Coliseum, 7 p.m.
- 11/13/18, LW Andrew Ladd - IR; Right leg
- 12/16/18, D Thomas Hickey - IR; Upper-body injury
- 1/17/19, LW Tom Kuhnhackl - Day-to-day; Illness
27-17-6, 60 pts; 171 GF (5th; 8th); 162GA (T-21st; 12th)
0-2-1 record last week
Chicago Downs Washington 8-5
SJS: 7 OT
Ovechkin’s Hat Trick Not Enough, San Jose Drowns Washington 7-6 in OT
Washington Heads To The All Star Break With Their 7th Straight Loss
Friday, February 1 - vs CGY, 7 p.m.
- 12/11/18, D Christian Djoos - IR; Thigh surgery
28-17-3, 59 pts; 154 GF (T-13th; T-10th); 146 GA (T-13th; T-17th)
Tuesday, January 29 - vs BUF, 7 p.m.
Thursday, January 31 - @ WPG, 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 2 - vs STL, 7 p.m.
- 1/7/19, LW Markus Hannikainen - IR; Upper-body injury
24-20-6, 54 pts; 140 GF (T-23rd; T-27th); 149 GA (T-15th; T-10th)
2-0-1 record last week
Canes strike early and often in 7-4 defeat of Oilers
CGY: 3 OT
Carolina ties the game late, but falls to Calgary 3-2 in OT
Canes go into break with win in Nedeljkovic’s first start
Friday, February 1 - vs VGK, 7:30 p.m.
- 12/22/18, C Jordan Staal - IR; Upper-body injury
- 1/16/19, G Curtis McElhinney - Day-to-day; Knee
- 1/21/19, LW Michael Ferland - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
21-20-7, 49 pts; 139 GF (T-25th); 164 GA (T-24th; T-25th)
Tuesday, January 29 - vs PHI, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 31 - @ NJD, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 2 - vs TBL, 8 p.m.
- 1/3/19, C Kevin Hayes - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
- 1/11/19, D Neal Pionk - Day-to-day; Lower-body injury
- 1/11/19, D Fredrik Claesson - IR; Arm
19-23-6, 44 pts; 139 GF (T-25th; T-22nd); 169 GA (29th; T-28th)
Monday, January 28 - vs WPG, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, January 29 - @ NYR, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 31 - @ BOS, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Febuary 2 - vs EDM, 1 p.m.
- 9/27/18, C Pascal Laberge - IR; Hip
- 10/1/18, D Samuel Morin - IR; Knee
- 10/26/18, C Corban Knight - IR; Dislocated collarbone
- 11/15/18, G Brian Elliott - IR; Lower-body injury
- 1/3/19, G Michal Neuvirth - IR; Lower-body injury
18-23-7, 43 pts; 140 GF (T-22nd; T-19th); 164 GA (T-24th; T-25th)
Monday, January 28 - @ PIT, 7 p.m.
Thursday, January 31 - vs NYR, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 2 - @ MTL, 2 p.m.
- 11/22/18, RW Joey Anderson - IR; Fractured ankle
- 12/26/18, LW Taylor Hall - IR; Lower-body injury
- 1/13/19, RW Stefan Noesen - IR; Lower-body injury
- 1/14/19, LW Miles Wood - IR; Lower-body injury
- 1/16/19, D Ben Lovejoy - Day-to-day; Upper-body injury
Which Metropolitan game is the most intriguing?
This poll is closed
1.28.19 - NJD @ PIT, 7 p.m. ET
1.29.19 - PHI @ NYR, 7:30 p.m.
1.30.19 - TBL @ PIT, 8 p.m.
1.31.19 - NYR @ NJD, 7 p.m.
1.31.19 - PHI @ BOS, 7 p.m.
2.1.19 - TBL @ NYI; Nassau Coliseum, 7 p.m.
2.1.19 - CGY @ WSH, 7 p.m.
2.2.19 - PIT @ TOR, 7 p.m.
2.2.19 - TBL @ NYR, 8 p.m.