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Pens Points: Keeping up with the Metropolitans

It’s been months since we checked on the rest of the Metro. With most of the division gearing up for action, let’s see how things are going in the Metro.

2020 NHL All-Star Skills Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s been months since the last weekly recap of Keeping up with the Metropolitans, But with seven out of the eight teams in the Metro about to take place in the Stanley Cup playoffs, let’s do a quick update on how the Metro is stacking up after months of silence.

Pittsburgh Penguins

While this may not be considered Penguins news, Stephen Johns of the Dallas Stars was named one of the three Bill Masterton Trophy nominees along with Bobby Ryan of the Senators and Oskar Lindblom of the Flyers. Johns is from Wampum, PA, and was sidelined for nearly two years after battling with concussion issues. I grew up minutes away from Wampum and used to play pick up hockey games there as a kid and it was certainly a great story to see Johns make it to the NHL and then return after a lengthy injury. [Dallas Morning News]

Brandon Tanev turned a questionable signing at first into one of the most steady and reliable players on the Penguins in his first season. Coach Mike Sullivan and Tanev’s teammates had plenty of nice things to say about “Turbo.”[]

Yesterday on PensBurgh, Robbie elaborated on three Penguins players with something to prove and who the Penguins will be relying on to come through big time once the playoffs begin. [PensBurgh]

Washington Capitals

The Capitals may have another reinforcement once the NHL resumes this summer in their first round pick from 2019, Connor McMichael. He made the list of 34 and hasn’t looked out of place, despite his age, in training camp for the Capitals. [Washington Post]

Braden Holtby is considered to be one of the more alluring free agents after the conclusion of this season, but he did not have impressive numbers this season and now has a flat cap to navigate through. He’s one of the more thoughtful players in the league and gives a little insight about being a potential free agent in such strange times right now. [RMNB]

Philadelphia Flyers

Broad Street Hockey did their rendition of the obligatory “X Factors” for the Flyers to be successful in the playoff. If these players step their game up the Flyers could be a very tough team to defeat in a series. [BSH]

Shayne Gostisbehere was a rising star with the Flyers for several years before an injury plagued season and poor defensive play bumped him out of favor with the coaching staff this season. He’s projected to be their seventh defenseman but could be a difference maker if/when called upon. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Carolina Hurricanes

Last year the Hurricanes took the league by storm (pun intended) and made a surprising run to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing in four games to Boston. The forward group in Carolina looks deep and balanced again this year. [Canes Country]

The Canes are even deeper on defense. Before the season ended the Hurricanes went shopping for two right-handed defenseman and poached the Metro with trades for Brady Skjei from the Rangers and Sami Vatanen from the Devils. Vatanen was injured and never suited up for Carolina yet, and with eight healthy and legitimate defenseman in Carolina, will have to earn his playing time. [Canes Country]

New York Islanders

Many teams in the NHL have a tough choice to make when it comes to which goalie will start game one. The Islanders are no different, [Newsday]

Many teams in the NHL will also have tough choices to make when the season ends with a flat cap next season. Here are three candidates for the Islanders to buy out this offseason. [Eyes on Isles]

New York Rangers

While most Penguins fans have been keeping an eye on Max Domi’s availability, he’s not the only player in the league who is diabetic. The Rangers’ top prospect, 19 year-old Kaapo Kakko, joins Domi on that list and says he’s good to go in the playoffs. []

If you haven’t heard yet, Rangers forward Artemi Panarin was nominated for the Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player in the league this season. If Panarin brings home the award, he’d be in some elite company for the Rangers. [Blueshirt Banter]

New Jersey Devils

The only good thing the Devils have going for them right now is the most cap space in the league. With many teams likely selling off useful parts for only pennies on the dollar to stay under the cap, the Devils may be positioned best for the next several seasons as they can weaponize that cap space effectively. [All About The Jersey]

As always, thanks for stopping by again today and be sure to make the most of your weekend! We’re one day closer to hockey!