The New Jersey Devils only had 2 games in this past week. Both on the road, and both against the top two teams in the Atlantic Division. The Devils impressed as they scored 4 goals in each and take all the points by beating the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now, the division standings has become tighter:
Here's this week's outlook for the rest of the division.
|GP This Week (H,A)
The Devils earning points against the Rangers and the Penguins was big. Now they remain undefeated (5-0-0) on the road and have a 3 game winning streak. They will rest a bit before hosting the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. The Devils will immediately then ship up to Boston to play the Bruins on Thursday night. Just based on Boston's class and the fact it'll be the Devils' first road game in a back-to-back this season, that could end the road winning streak. Of course, I could be (and hope I am) wrong. On Saturday, the Devils will visit the Tampa Bay Lightning for an afternoon game to close out the week and the month.
Read on for quick summaries of what the upcoming week holds for the rest of the Atlantic.The powerful, punishing Pittsburgh Penguins finally lost for the first time after winning 9 in a row. Will they bounce back? Probably. The Devils were simply the better team last night, and executed at all aspects of the game. It wasn't as if Pittsburgh was exposed to being worse than their record would indicate. Moreover, even if they did, they got a decent hold on the division lead. They won't fall unless, well, they begin to fail miserably and the Rangers surge with some wins. They'll look to get back on track by hosting Montreal on Wednesday. After Les Habs, the Penguins will travel to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets and then quickly head back to the Igloo to play the Minnesota Wild. Check out Pensburgh to follow the Penguins in this coming week.
The New York Rangers have just come off a rather bad week. First, the San Jose Sharks stomp all over the Rangers at MSG to snap their winning streak with a 7-3 win. Then, they lose to the New Jersey Devils. Lastly, they lost in overtime to Montreal last night to end the week with a mere point earned. 3 games lost in a row after 7 straight wins. Ouch. The Rangers will look to rebound and strengthen their second place position in the division with 3 games this week. They will host the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday, and then they will get on the road with away games at the Islanders on Wednesday and at Minnesota on Friday. Go to Blueshirt Banter to hear much, er, banter about the Rangers' recent woes (as much as we enjoy them, of course).
The Philadelphia Flyers enjoyed a week similar to the Devils. They had only two games and they won both of them. Granted, both of those wins were at home against Boston and Florida. Still, the victories have Philadelphia keep pace with New Jersey in the standings. The Flyers will play 3 in this week and so could look to leapfrog the Devils should the Devils drop points somewhere. Philadelphia will host the San Jose Sharks tonight, then they will travel to D.C. to play the Capitals on Tuesday. Even before Wednesday, the Flyers could surpass the Devils in the standings. Anyway, the Flyers close out the week with a matinee in Philly against the Carolina Hurricanes. Do you want to read more about the Flyers? Go to Broad Street Hockey and you can get what you're looking for.
The New York Islanders finally won a game! The Islanders finally won a game! Toronto is now the only team yet to win a game in this season. The Islanders got it in a shootout over the Carolina Hurricanes in front of their home fans. Great stuff. Then they went up to Montreal and got destroyed. But they got another point against the Capitals in an OT loss last night. The Islanders will be busy in this upcoming week, but they can build on this momentum of points. An optimistic look considering that their upcoming opposition: The Isles will visit Montreal again on Monday, then they host the Rangers on Wednesday; and this is followed by back-to-back set where they will visit D.C. to play the Capitals on Friday and then host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. Best of luck to the Orange and Royal Blue in the games ahead. Visit Lighthouse Hockey and hope the Islanders can steal some points.
Overall, I wouldn't expect much movement in the division except for Philadelphia possibly switching spots with New Jersey. But if the Rangers falter and while the Devils succeed, it'll make the situation all the more interesting when November begins. Please leave all your thoughts about the upcoming week of games within the division in the comments.