This is the fifth week of the Metropolitan Division Snapshot. The New Jersey Devils, the team that matters most on this site, this blog, and this platform, is in first place again. They remained hot enough to secure a first place finish for this snapshot before the week even ended. The competition remains stiff in the Metropolitan Division, though. The Devils are just a few games up on the Carolina Hurricanes and the two New York teams. Everyone got at least one win. Yes, even the Columbus Blue Jackets. As long as the Devils stay hot, the rest will have to chase them.
This week’s schedule is heavy on Thursday and Saturday with all eight teams performing. Wednesday and Friday are idle for the division. It is also a schedule filled with road games. Only the Columbus Blue Jackets will stay at home for more than one game this week. Everyone else is traveling. The Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers each have the only inter-division game of the week, which is highlighted and in bold in this schedule:
Here is the week that was and week that will be for all eight teams.
New Jersey Devils
What Happened Last Week: The New Jersey Devils went into the week with a six game winning streak. They were to play three games at home. Would they keep the good times rolling? It was not easy at all, but they won another week. On Tuesday night, they hosted Calgary. The Flames actually did something that no team has done to the Devils: out-perform them in the run of play. The team needed Vitek Vanecek to perform. Despite an early PPG from Nazem Kadri, he did just that. In the second period, Ryan Graves hammered a shot off a rush to tie up the game and Dougie Hamilton converted a 5-on-3 situation to put the Devils up 2-1. Tyler Toffoli tied it up in the third period on a power play of his own and the Devils had to hold on for a bit. Then they got a breakthrough. Nico Hischier rushed up ice, fired a shot from the right site, and it just beat Jacob Markstrom. The Devils led 3-2 and maintained that lead all the way to the end for a seventh straight win. On Thursday night, they hosted Ottawa - who has yet to get a result on the road. While the start was good with Tomas Tatar scoring a rare goal, the Sens came back. Shane Pinto converted a PPG from a killer pass by Claude Giroux and Travis Hamonic put one in from distance. Hischier tied up the game late in the first with a shot similar to his game winner against Calgary. In the second period, the Devils brought the pressure with 21 shots on net. A simple crash-the-net play by Michael McLeod earned them a go-ahead goal when Miles Wood slammed in the rebound. Then a disaster happened. Thomas Chabot kneed Vanecek in the head as he contacted him. Vanecek went down, needed the trainer, and ultimately stayed in the game - but he would not finish it. In the third period, Pinto scored an equalizer, Vanecek was replaced with about 10 minutes left for “precautionary reasons,” and Utica call up Akira Schmid had to take over. He did not have to do much in regulation. In overtime, he was massive during a penalty kill, robbing Brady Tkachuk multiple times. After the kill, Chabot fouled Jack Hughes to prevent him from a potential breakaway. With less than 40 seconds left, would the Devils convert? Faceoff win by Hischier, pass by Hughes to Hamilton, shot by Hamilton, tip by Hischier, and it is over. The Devils won 4-3 for their eighth straight win. That win secured first for this snapshot. With a chance to sweep the week and make it nine wins in a row, the Devils hosted Arizona last night. It was a sloppy start for the Devils. But a tic-tac-toe like play from Hischier to Zetterlund to Tatar right in front of Karel Vejmelka made it 1-0. A power play goal from Dylan Guenther off Jonas Siegenthaler’s hand was a blooper, a fluke, and an equalizer. The response came quick: Jack Hughes roared into the zone and went top corner on Vejmelka to make it 2-1. The Devils played better in the second period when it was at 5-on-5 - which was not often with all of the penalties called. One such power play for Arizona yielded Clayton Keller scoring to make it 2-2. The Devils would go back up with Jesper Boqvist’s first goal of the season in the slot to make it 3-2. The Devils would finally punish an Arizona penalty with a goal; Hamilton’s long shot went through traffic and in to make it 4-2. The Devils held on in the third period to seal up the win. The Devils swept another week of games. They have won nine straight. They are among league leaders in standings points. They are up by four points over the Islanders (with a game in hand) and up by five over the Canes. The Devils are hot, good, and in first place. You love to see it.
What’s Coming Up This Week: Another three-game road trip through Canada. The Devils will be going through the Eastern side of the country in this week. It begins in Quebec when the Devils visit Montreal on Tuesday night. Montreal is kind of decent record-wise and not really a pushover by any means. On Thursday, the Devils will visit Toronto. A team that can shoot the lights out and has high expectations even if their start to the season has not gone according to said expectations. The trip ends with a rematch in Ottawa on Saturday afternoon. Whereas the Sens have failed to get results away from home, they have been more successful on their own rink. The Devils have been hot and could do well on this trip. Even if the streak ends, their style of play can still overwhelm opponents and lead to more points in the standings. The more they get now, the more room they can work with when they get a tougher schedule. Such as in the following week, but I will go into that in next week’s snapshot.
What Happened Last Week: The Islanders ended last week with a rough shutout loss in Detroit to end a winning streak. Would they start again? Yes. On Monday night, they hosted a Calgary team seeking to get end their own woes. It seemed that would happen. Mikael Backlund got the scoring started. While Sebastian Aho (the defenseman) tied it up about a minute later, Elias Lindholm made it 2-1 for the visitors before the end of the first. Backlund scored again in the second period to extend the lead. Then the Isles made a comeback effort in the third period. Anders Lee put the Isles within one just past halfway through the third. About a minute later, Kyle Palmieri turned a Calgary turnover on defense into a game-tying goal. The Isles and Flames were heading into overtime. Just like Calgary’s game on Saturday, they took an ill-advised penalty in overtime: Rasmus Andersson interfered with Adam Pelech. The Isles four-some pushed Calgary back, Mat Barzal found Noah Dobson in the high slot, and Dobson absolutely crushed the pass with a one-timer goal for the 4-3 comeback win. Would the Isles have anything left for their hated rivals on the next night? Yes. While the Isles scored first - a Palmieri PPG - Filip Chytil put the Rangers at 1-1. A pair of power play goals from Chris Kreider and Vincent Trocheck gave the Rangers a solid-looking 3-1 lead. Then they melted down in the third period. Just fourteen seconds into the third period, Pelech scored to make it 3-2. Brock Nelson scored a PPG to tie it up at 3-3. A little less than two minutes after that goal, Lee put the Isles up 4-3. Seymon Varlamov and the squad held on for another comeback win and earn more bragging rights in New York. Surely, a new streak would be forming as the Isles hosted Arizona on Thursday night. Nope. Karel Vejmelka has been quite good in recent games. He was perfect as he stopped all of the shots from the Isles. All of only 24 shots. Which is not a lot against a team that has given up a ton of rubber this season. All the same, Travis Boyd scored a PPG early in the third, Jack McBain put home an ENG, and the Isles lost 2-0 to the Coyotes. Oof. Would they bounce back against Columbus on Saturday night? Ultimately, yes. The game was a back-and-forth affair for goals. The Isles made Joonas Korpisalo work a lot, but the visitors beat Ilya Sorokin three times too. Cole Sillinger converted a power play to start the scoring. Brock Nelson tied it up minutes later. Emil Bemstrom scored to give Columbus a 2-1 lead. Within the final minute of the second period, Nelson scored again to tie it up. Marcus Bjork would make it 3-2 in the third period, only for Scott Mayfield to tie it up minutes later. Overtime was needed and the Isles would break the pattern. They needed just one shot by Zach Parise. It was in and the Isles won 4-3 in OT. The victory secured a 3-1-0 week and a little distance from their hated rivals and others in the standings. Results matter in the Division Snapshot and the Isles are getting them. Hence, they are in second place. Disrespect the Islanders at your peril.
What’s Coming Up This Week: The Islanders will be on the road all week for three games of a four game road trip. On Monday, they will head up to Ontario to play Ottawa. The Sens have struggled a lot as of late. But they have been a better home team than a road team, so it will not be a gimmie for the Royal Blue & Orange. On Thursday, the Islanders will visit Nashville. The Preds have struggled a lot this season and it could be another good opportunity for the Isles to rack up points. The week ends with a far tougher opponent on Saturday night: Dallas. Dallas (and Winnipeg) have begun to pull away from the rest of the Central and they have a good record at home. It will be the Islanders’ toughest game of the week on paper. With how the Isles have performed recently, you have to admit they have a chance to get a result in that one too.
What Happened Last Week: The Carolina Hurricanes had a tough week and it certainly was tough to start. On Sunday, they hosted Toronto. The game started well enough with Stefan Noesen converting a power play in the first period. The 1-0 score stood until late in the second period when Calle Jarnkrok tied it up. The Leafs did not attack a lot in the third, but they did not need to as John Tavares made it 2-1 and William Nylander scored a late insurance to hand Carolina a 3-1 loss at home. On Wednesday night, the Canes visited Florida. Carolina did their best to best Spencer Knight. They put 40 shots on him. Alas, Knight made 40 saves. As Knight shut out the Canes, Nick Cousins’ first period goal stood up as all that was needed. Aleksander Barkov converted a third period power play and Sam Bennett put an empty netter for the 3-0 loss. The Hurricanes returned to Raleigh the next night to host the offensive machine that is the Edmonton Oilers. Carolina took out their frustrations on the visitors. An injury to Frederik Andersen led to Pytor Kochetkov getting the start. He did well enough. More importantly, Carolina made it such that they did not need Kochetkov to be amazing. Andrei Svechnikov scored in each period for a hat trick, Brent Burns converted a power play in the second, Jordan Stall scored with a second left in the second period, and Jordan Martinook and Jesper Fast added on goals in a 7-2 beating of Edmonton. The scores by Zach Hyman and Connor McDavid were consolation goals. With a win in this week sorted out, the Canes went to Denver on Saturday night. The Avs may be hurting, but they are still the Avs. They still have Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon. They got Mikko Rantanen back recently too. Carolina recognized that the hard way. In the first period, Makar scored twice to put the Canes down. Jordan Staal gave the Hurricanes hope with a second period score to make it 2-1 going into the third. But MacKinnon struck early in the third period to put the Canes down two. Rantanen capped off his four point night with an ENG to hand Carolina a 4-1 defeat. The Canes lost three out of four in a tough week. Their quality is shown by the fact that going 1-3-0 saw them only slip to third place. But be careful, Carolina. Further struggles could be costly.
What’s Coming Up This Week: The Hurricanes have three games coming up of varying difficulty. On Monday, they will have a game in Chicago. While most expected Chicago to be doormats in the Central, they have a decent and winning record at home. Carolina will not be able to simply walk in and leave with two points so easily. On Thursday night, Carolina returns home to play the defending Champions, Colorado. With Rantanen back and the team still buzzing with Makar and MacKinnon, they do not need to be at full strength to win. After all, they just beat Carolina 4-1 last night. On Saturday night, the Canes will head over to Minnesota. The Wild has talent, although it has not led to many results at home as they remain mired in the standings with Chicago, Arizona, and Nashville. Still, it is not a preferable matchup to end the week for most teams. As the Hurricanes seek to be Cup contenders this season, I think they can work it out. If not, well, the rest of the division could take advantage.
What Happened Last Week: The Rangers got crushed by Boston in their prior game to this week. OK, they have done that to just about everyone. No big deal. Just rebound against Detroit on Sunday at MSG. Except that did not happen. The Rangers created a two-goal lead in the first period with goals by Kaapo Kakko and Mika Zibanejad (power play). Then they could not beat Alex Nedeljkovic again. Matt Luff - get well soon, by the way - scored his first as a Red Wing in the second period and Pius Suter put in an equalizer later on. After a scoreless third period, overtime commenced. K’Andre Miller was caught holding David Perron’s stick. In the ensuing 4-on-3 power play, Dominik Kubalik scored to hand the Rangers an 3-2 OTL. Not really a bounce back. No matter, they were hosting the Islanders on Tuesday. An Islanders team that played Calgary the night before. That should add some juice, right? Except, no. It did not. they conceded the first goal to Kyle Palmieri on a power play. The Rangers would go up 3-1 by the end of the second with goals by Filip Chytil, Chris Kreider (power play), and Vincent Trocheck (power play). Then it all fell apart again. A quick goal allowed to Adam Pelech, a power play goal allowed to Brock Nelson, and a game winner to Anders Lee. Igor Shesterkin looked ordinary, the Rangers could not solve Varlamov, and so they lost 4-3 in regulation to their hated rivals at home. Would they take it out on the Red Wings in Detroit on Thursday night? Eventually, yes. The first two periods were competitive. A Mika Zibanejad goal was answered by Joe Veleno in the first period. A Lucas Raymond goal was answered by Chris Kreider on a power play in the second period. Then New York decided to make it rain pucks and goals on Ville Husso. Not one, not two, but six goals in the third period! Adam Fox, Barclay Goodrow, Zibanejad, and Julian Gauthier all scored within a three-minute timeperiod to turn a 2-2 game into a 6-2 game. Libor Hajek and a shorthanded goal by Jimmy Vesey added to the rout for an 8-2 final score. That is some serious revenge extracted on Detroit. Poor Husso. On Saturday night, the Rangers began a back-to-back weekend by going to Nashville. The team that provided an eight-goal explosion in Michigan did not arrive in Tennessee. While they certainly tried what with a 35-18 shot difference, the Preds got up early and never let go. Juuso Parssinen beat Jaroslav Halak in the first period. Mark Jankowski made it 2-0 in the second period. After some nonsense and frustration, Filip Chytil got the Rangers on the board with about 8 minutes left in the second. However, the Rangers could not beat Juuse Saros a second time. Saros stood tall and the Rangers left Nashville with a 2-1 regulation loss. That loss ensured a losing week at 1-2-1. They remain in fourth place, but Philly, Washington, and Pittsburgh are closer to them then they are to their hated rivals - whom they lost to on Tuesday.
What’s Coming Up This Week: The Rangers will be heading to the West Coast this week. First, they will host Arizona on Sunday night. Neither team will have a rest advantage as Arizona will be playing in Newark as the Rangers play in Nashville on Saturday night. This one could come down to who has more left in the tank. It is also the last home game before Thanksgiving. On Thursday, the trip for New York begins in Seattle. The Kraken have done quite well to start this season; they are no longer expansion fodder even with a less than ideal record at home. On Saturday night, the Rangers will visit the Sharks. The Sharks prevailed in MSG in overtime back on October 20. The Rangers may want revenge. And San Jose has not won many games since that one. They should win that one. Will they? We shall find out.
What Happened Last Week: The Philadelphia Flyers had a relatively workable schedule in this week with games against hapless St. Louis, hapless Columbus, and hapless Ottawa. Tuesday night went well for the Orange & Black. They added to the Blues’ misery. Goalie Felix Sandstrom won his first game with 27 saves out of 28. Only Ryan O’Reilly beat him in the third period. By that point, the game was pretty much all about the Flyers. Philly scored three in the second period thanks to Wade Allison, Travis Konecny, and Noah Cates. After the O’Reilly goal, Lukas Sedlak scored to restore the three-goal lead. Owen Tippett made it a 5-1 score in the final minute. After that big win, the Flyers went to Ohio. It was a return for John Tortorella. The Blue Jackets on the ice were less than sentimental about it. The shoe was on the other foot. Columbus struck first with two goals in the first period: one from Johnny Gaudreau and one from Zach Werenski. Boone Jenner scored within the first minute of the second period. The Flyers mounted a comeback. Anthony DeAngelo got Philly on the board in the second period; Ivan Provorov put the Flyers within one in the third period. The Flyers brought the fire with a 16-shot third period. But they could not find an equalizer against Joonas Korpisalo. Nick Blankenburg and Jenner scored ENGs to make it a 5-2 loss for Philadelphia. Yes, the Flyers lost to a team on a long losing streak. Alas. On Saturday, the Flyers hosted Ottawa, another squad on a winless streak and has been notably unsuccessful on the road so far this season. The Flyers got off to a good start with a goal by Kevin Hayes. However, Thomas Chabot would tie it up later in the first period. Then the Flyers’ penalty kill took two blows that they would not recover from. Alex DeBrincat, one of the more snakebitten players in the league, scored two PPGs. One within the final minute of the second period and one with just over 13 minutes left in the third. Philly had no response. Tim Stutzle put home an empty net goal to give Ottawa their first road win of the season. This means a 4-1 loss for the Flyers and a 1-2-0 week. A week where they handed two struggling teams their first wins in weeks. This may end up being an auspicious week should the 2022-23 campaign go south from here. As it is, the Flyers sunk to fifth place - and could go down soon depending on what Washington and Pittsburgh do.
What’s Coming Up This Week: The Flyers will “enjoy” four games in seven nights coming up this week. They will host Dallas in an afternoon game today. Dallas is one of the top teams of the Central Division have been capable on the road. It will not be an easy game. Then the Flyers are on the road for the other three games. They will have a rematch in Columbus on Tuesday night. On Thursday, the Flyers will visit the now-healthy Boston Bruins. Boston has been a top-tier team this season and perfect at home so far this season. That will be tough for the Orange & Black. Philly will end their trip in Montreal on Saturday night. Montreal is decent but not nearly as good as Boston. That one may be more manageable. The Flyers’ surprising start to this season has put them in a good position to be competitive. We shall see if they can maintain that with this week of games coming up.
What Happened Last Week: Washington really could have used some wins in this week after going winless in the prior one. They would not have to wait long for their first. It was not easy, but they prevailed on Tuesday night against Edmonton. Dylan Strome got the scoring started late in the first period. He would score again on an power play that carried over into the second period. From then on, the Oilers chased the game to constantly making it a one-goal game. McDavid scored. That yielded a PPG from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins responded to that, which begat a PPG from Alex Ovechkin. In the third period, Leon Draisaitl pulled the Oilers back within one. The score held still until Kuznetsov scored Washington’s fourth PPG of the night to put the Caps up 5-3. Which did not last as Nugent-Hopkins made it 5-4 shortly thereafter. But that would be it. The Caps held on for the 5-4 win. Great. A win has been earned. Would they get a second while pushing down a division rival on Wednesday night? No. Against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the game was taken over by Pittsburgh. After a scoreless first period, Jason Zucker, Brock McGinn (shorthanded), and Jeff Petry put the Caps down three goals in the second period. Marcus Johansson broke the shutout bid but it was too little, too late. Jake Guentzel put home an empty-netter. The Pens ended their winless streak by handing the Caps a 4-1 loss on their rink. Ouch. The Capitals would host Tampa Bay to close out their week on Friday night. This one would go much better for Washington. Anthony Mantha scored to put the Caps up early. In the second period, Sonny Milano scored his first for the Caps and Aliaksei Protas extended the lead further. Conor Sheary added to the lead to make it a comfortable 4-0 game in the third. Nick Perbix did get the Lightning on the board, but it was a consolation goal. Milano added a second goal late, minutes after some ugliness between the two teams, to make it a 5-1 win. The Capitals were successful at home by going 2-1-0. Not beating Pittsburgh surely stung, what with their winlessness at the time. But a winning week was what Washington needed after going 0-2-2 in the last one. They are still in sixth but thanks to Philadelphia’s poor week, they can move up . Although they will have to contend with Pittsburgh right behind them. That loss to the Pens allowed that, by the way.
What’s Coming Up This Week: The Capitals will spend most of this week on the road, which has not gone particularly well in the early part of this season. Worse, they will play four games in seven days. Three of those games will be tough ones on paper. The Capitals will visit Tampa Bay on Sunday night. They just played each other in D.C. on Friday night, so I would expect little love to be lost between the two. After that, the Capitals will visit Florida on Tuesday night. While the Cats are not as dominant as last season, they are no pushovers. The Capitals will end their three-game trip in St. Louis on Thursday. The Blues have been surprisingly terrible to start this season. If there is a “should-win” for the Caps this week, then it is that one. All the same, the Capitals will return home after that game. They will host Colorado on Saturday night. Between a low shooting percentage and multiple injuries, the Avs are not at full strength. The Caps could get a result too, but discounting the defending Champs is a bad idea. A good week for Washington will keep them in the mix at a minimum. A bad week, well, try not to think about it Caps fans.
What Happened Last Week: The Penguins entered this week with zero wins in their last seven games. Just one point earned out of their last fourteen that were on the table. They needed a win and badly. They would get it in their first chance this week in Washington D.C. The Caps and Pens have little love for each other. With both struggling in the division, either would have relished the win. It was Pittsburgh’s night, though. After a scoreless first period, the Pens built up a decisive lead. Jason Zucker opened the scoring. Brock McGinn added a shorthanded goal. Jeff Petry put in a rare goal to give the Pens a 3-0 lead. While Marcus Johansson got the Caps on the board, the Penguins showed little weakness. They held on at 3-1. Jake Guentzel put in an empty netter for a 4-1 final score. The Penguins ended their long winless streak with a win over a disliked divisional opponent in their building. With that taken care of, the Penguins looked to build on that in Toronto on Friday night. It was a close one. Ex-Penguin Zach Aston-Reese opened the scoring in the first period. Evgeni Malkin matched that within the final minute of the first period. Early in the second, Zucker scored to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead. That held until William Nylander converted a power play late in the second period. The tie did not last too long. Early in the third, Danton Heinen took a turnover in the neutral zone, carried the puck in, and found Brock McGinn open. McGinn shot a puck through Erik Kallgren for the 3-2 lead. Toronto, well, did not really try to tie it up with a mere four shots in the third period. Pittsburgh shut them down. Guentzel added an empty netter for the 4-2 win. A solid road win and it secured a winning week. The trip continued into Montreal on Saturday night. This was an offensive contest. Josh Anderson scored an early goal to kick things off. The Penguins responded with two early goals in the second period - a PPG from Petry and a Rickard Rakell goal - to make it 2-1. The third period is when everything kicked off. Cole Caufield tied it up 49 seconds into the third. Malkin restored the last at 3:19. At 4:09, Nick Suzuki scored on his own to tie it up for Montreal. McGinn restored the lead at 14:02. A shortened power play for Montreal that started at 14:16 ended at 14:42 with Sean Monahan scoring a PPG. Not the best period for Jake Allen or Tristan Jarry. It would get worse for Jarry. Mike Hoffman scored in OT to make it a 5-4 loss for Pittsburgh. The point is nice but a better defensive effort in the third could have made it a win. All the same, the Pens went 2-0-1 in this past week. After a seven-game winless streak, that is an achievement. They are just a point behind the Caps and Flyers. Should they keep getting results, they could move up from seventh soon.
What’s Coming Up This Week: The Penguins will have a tricky trio of games coming up in this weeks in their attempt to right their season. They will return home to host Toronto on Tuesday. Pittsburgh played them just this past Friday and prevailed 4-2. They should be familiar with the matchup. They may get an unhappy Toronto team but the Pens know they can contain them as they did in the third period on Friday night. Then the Penguins will head to the Land of Thousand Lakes. They will visit a Minnesota Wild team on Thursday that could be in a turnaround of their own. Their poor home record suggests Pittsburgh has a chance to leave with points. On Saturday, the Penguins will go to Manitoba. They will play Winnipeg, who lead the Central Division and have a strong record in their own building. That could be the toughest of the three games. The Penguins are going to have to try anyway. They put themselves in a position where they have little option.
Columbus Blue Jackets
What Happened Last Week: The Columbus Blue Jackets have been losing. They lost both games in Finland. With two games in this week, would they get a needed win to just temporarily end the pain? They would get their first chance at one against Philadelphia on Thursday night. It was the return of John Tortorella, arguably the best coach in Blue Jackets history. Columbus came out and took the game right from the get go. Johnny Gaudreau scored early. Zach Werenski made it 2-0 in the first. Boone Jenner made it 3-0 early in the second. Philly would mount a comeback effort to make it close. Anthony DeAngelo scored in the second period and Ivan Provorov scored in the third. Philly tested Joonas Korpisalo with 16 shots on net. Provorov’s goal was the only one to beat him. He stood tall. Nick Blankenburg and Jenner put in ENGs for a 5-2 win. Yes, Columbus finally won a game. But at a cost. Werenski and Blankenburg ended up with significant injuries after the game. They join an injured list that includes Jakub Voracek, Adam Boqvist, Sean Kuraly, Eric Gudbranson, and Justin Danforth. Werenski is out for the season and Blankenburg will miss 6 to 8 weeks. Absolutely terrible news after their first win in weeks. The season shall continue on, though. On Saturday, Columbus visited Long Island. The Blue Jackets managed to score first and keep scoring to stay ahead of the home team, albeit briefly. Cole Sillinger converted a power play in the second period for the first lead. His first of the season. That was answered by Brock Nelson. Emil Bemstrom scores past the halfway mark of the second period; also his first of the season. That was answered again by Nelson within the final minute of the period. In the third period, defenseman Marcus Bjork scored his first NHL goal to put the Jackets up 3-2. Minutes later, Scott Mayfield tied it up. Joonas Korpisalo ended up facing 46 total shots, so it was not like he was totally at fault. Alas, the last shot was the game-killer. In overtime, Zach Parise buried a shot to hand them a 4-3 OTL. Not the ideal result, but they still took three out of four points this week. Given who they are missing and the streak that just ended, that is a fine result. It is not enough to get them anywhere out of the basement, but it is something positive for a team that does not have a lot of them in this season.
What’s Coming Up This Week: Columbus is the only team in the division this week that will stay at home. In fact, this week begins a six-game run at home. They will not go on the road until November 26. They will play the Philadelphia Flyers for the second straight week on Tuesday night. Others in the division may want the Blue Jackets to make Philly leave with nothing. On Thursday, the Blue Jackets will host a Montreal squad that appears to be decent this season. On Saturday, the Blue Jackets will host another squad in the Atlantic Division mix in Detroit. The goal remains since October 23: Get some wins. They will at least have home ice to help them in theory. Without Werenski on top of of their other injured players, it will be a difficult effort.
That was the fifth Weekly Metropolitan Division Snapshot of the 2022-23 season. What do you expect to happen in this week coming up? Will the Devils remain in first for another snapshot? Will Columbus tank the season from here on out? Can Pittsburgh rise from their spot? Can Who will come out of the middle of this tight division for at least next week’s snapshot? Please leave your answers and other thoughts about the eight teams in the week that was and the week ahead in the comments. Thank you for reading.