New York has been home to two NHL teams for over four decades. In recent years, it was a safe bet that the one planted among the suburbs of Long Island would be near the bottom the division. The one playing amid the massive structures in Manhattan would be somewhere else; almost always higher than that other New York team. Until today:
|Team||GP||W||L||OT||ROW||Pts||Last Week||Ptl. Pts.|
Source: NHL.com - Links to SBN Blogs
Your eyes are not deciving you. The New York Islanders are currently first in the Metropolitan Division. They only recently lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins; leaving them as one of the last teams in the entire NHL to be undefeated. Up is not down. Left is not right. The Isles have been very good in this early part of the season. They smacked their cross-metropolitan-area rivals and rolled through the Sharks, though they won in a shootout. Still, this is fairly new territory for the Isles. For everyone else, welcome to the 2014-15 season: things will be different.
Of course, I want to put a highlight on the Washington Capitals. They had the most successful week among the eight Metropolitan Division teams. They came back from a big deficit against San Jose but ultimately fell in a shootout. They won a game in regulation by slamming a sputtering New Jersey Devils team down. They finished up with a shootout win over Florida. At least they got a ROW; but the points are more important now as they'll only get two games in this coming week. They made a big jump to be tied with the Isles in points, good for them.
On the opposite end, look at the poor Carolina Hurricanes. They got Buffalo and lost in a shootout. They actually made life difficult for the New York Rangers, but they also lost in a shootout. That's two points they didn't have before but they remain winless. Like the Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets, they'll be hitting the road to go out west. Given their upcoming schedule, it's going to be dire if I'm still writing a "0" under "W" in next week's Metropolitan Division snapshot. A win puts them up with the Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers provided both teams don't make a move upwards.
Here's the upcoming schedule of games for all eight teams in the Metropolitan. Games in bold are within the division.
|NYI||vs. TOR||@ BOS||vs. DAL|
|WSH||@ EDM||@ CGY|
|PIT||vs. PHI||@ DET||@ NSH|
|CBJ||@ SJS||@ ANA|
|NJD||vs. NYR||vs. DAL||@ OTT|
|PHI||@ CHI||@ PIT||vs. DET|
|NYR||vs. SJS||@ NJD||vs. MTL|
|CAR||@ WPG||@ CGY||@ EDM|
Washington fans may not like the late night games, but they could end this week with another two wins. Calgary actually hasn't been too bad. Edmonton has almost been the definition of bad. Likewise, Carolina against Winnipeg and Edmonton in the same week has the makings for some glorious tank battling. The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, get a really tough week: a road back-to-back with San Jose and Anaheim. Not exactly the best set of games after a 1-2-0 week. Only the Philadelphia Flyers, early kings of getting beyond regulation, can claim a tougher pair of games. They get a nasty back-to-back with Chicago and their hated rivals, the Penguins - who also hit the road after that Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN game. I think if they can grind out more points by taking either game beyond 60 minutes, then their fans should be pleased.
There isn't much in the way of rivalry games other than that and the one that most of you readers care about the most. The New Jersey Devils host the Rangers on Tuesday. Given how good Dallas is this season (aside: that game is also the first of their many back-to-back sets this season), this may be the best chance at a win during their current three-game homestand. Alternatively, it may be the Rangers' way of bouncing back after a slow start - especially if the Sharks are successful in Rangerstown this evening.
As the Isles are leading the division, let's end this week's snapshot with a closer look at their schedule. Will they stay at the top? Maybe. Toronto hasn't lacked for goals, but they got shutout by Detroit in their most recent game. Moreover, they haven't lacked in conceding goals either. A game in Boston is always a challenge. They'll get the Sharks on Tuesday so that should be a decent barometer of whether the Bruins are coming up or not after a slowish start. Dallas is a good team but they will have played the Devils the night before. The Isles might catch them on Saturday night. So, yes, it is possible that they'll stay at the top depending on This is the 2014-15 season: things will be different.
What do you think of the Metropolitian Division overall? Do you think the Isles will remain at the top for another week, or will someone (Pittsburgh? Washington if the Isles really falter?) take their spot? Will Carolina get a win in this coming week? What will the Devils do? Please leave your answers and other thoughts about the division and this week's schedule in the comments. Thank you for reading.