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Weekly Metropolitan Division Snapshot: 4/24 - 4/29

This is the final weekly Metropolitan Division snapshot for the 2021-22 NHL season. The playoff teams are confirmed, but there is still positioning to play for. The non-playoff teams could help spoil that. Find out what happened last week and what is coming up in this last week in this snapshot.

Carolina Hurricanes v New Jersey Devils
And the Canes are just 3 games away (at most) from securing first.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Welcome to the final weekly Metropolitan Division snapshot of the 2021-22 season. The end is finally here for four teams whose seasons will end after April 29, 2022. Those four being the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, Columbus Blue Jackets, and New York Islanders. The other four teams in the division will be in the playoffs: the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Washington Capitals. While this has been known for months, the actual positions for those four teams are still yet to be determined. That and their first round match-up in the postseason will be decided this week. Here are the standings ahead of the final week of the season.

Metropolitan Division Standings as of the morning of April 24, 2022
Metropolitan Division Standings as of the morning of April 24, 2022
Standings via NHL.com, First Overall odds via Tankathon.

The playoff situation is still yet to be determined in terms of matchups. Carolina has the inside track on securing first place. With Florida owning the Atlantic Division and clinching the conference, first place in the Metropolitan will play the team in the first wild card position. Currently, that is Boston at 101 points. Tampa Bay is three points ahead of the B’s, so it is unlikely but it is not impossible that Boston catches them somehow if things break the right way for them. The bigger concern for the B’s will be Washington, who is two points back of them. As it currently stands, Carolina will host Boston in the first round and Florida will host Washington. This means the New York Rangers would host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Of course, it is not that simple. The Rangers are still right behind Carolina. They could jump them for first place in this final week. And Washington could still catch Pittsburgh, forcing the Pens down to the playoff round with the Metropolitan Division leader instead of the second place team. With plenty of games within the division, there is still intrigue for these last three to four games.

As for the bottom four teams, well, there is not much intrigue. The Islanders and Blue Jackets are next to each other in the league standings. With at least three points ahead of San Jose and Anaheim, it is not likely that they can marginally improve their lottery odds. They could each catch Winnipeg, who is at 81 points. But finishing 19th out of 32 is not much of an achievement. As for the bottom two teams, there is a little more potential movement. The Devils are in 28th entering today and sitting a point behind Chicago with a game in hand on the Blackhawks. With Ottawa at 69 points in 26th place and Detroit at 70 points in 25th place, catching them is more theoretically possible than practically possible even with a game in hand on both. The Devils are three points ahead of 29th place Philadelphia Flyers, who are at 59 points, and four points ahead of 30th place Seattle Kraken at 58 points. For the Devils or Flyers to fall back, they need to not only fail but need Seattle to get points. Neither can fall further than that though. Arizona and Montreal are at 51 points with three games left for each. Even if they win out, they cannot finish higher than 31st as Seattle has the tiebreakers on each.

There are a heap of games today, Tuesday, and Friday. Philadelphia has the lone game in the NHL on Monday and two division teams are involved on Wednesday. There are plenty of games within the division from rivalries to games that could have a say in the final standings. Those games are highlighted and in bold:

Team schedules for 04/24/2022 to 04/29/2022, barring any future changes.
Team schedules for 04/24/2022 to 04/29/2022, barring any future changes.
Schedules are from team sites via NHL.com

Let us go over what happened last week and what is coming up for each team in the Metropolitan Division.


Carolina Hurricanes

What Happened Last Week: The Carolina Hurricanes found themselves with the New York Rangers right on their tails. They still controlled their destiny for first place. They made the most of it with three wins out of three games last week. On Monday, the Hurricanes were in Glendale, Arizona to play the Coyotes. They put the Coyotes into a deep hole early on. Vincent Trocheck scored in the first period. Jesper Fast and Max Domi scored within the first five minutes in the second period to go up 3-0. Then the game got flipped on their head. Nick Ritchie scored to put the Yotes on the board. Nino Niederreiter restored the three-goal lead. Then in the final five minutes of the second period, Loui Eriksson and Alex Galchenyuk made it 4-3 going into the third period. The pressure was relieved when Sebastian Aho scored in the third period to go up 5-3 and the score stood for Carolina’s first win of the month. On Thursday, the Hurricanes returned home to host Winnipeg. The visitors looked like they were going to spoil the Canes. Kyle Connor and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored in the first period to put Carolina down two goals. It took until the final minute of the second period for the Canes to respond. Teuvo Teravainen scored a power play goal to make it 2-1 going into the third period. Then Carolina rose up in the third period. Jaccob Slavin tied it up early in the third. About four minutes later, Seth Jarvis put the Canes up 3-2. Jordan Staal sealed the game with an ENG for a 4-2 win. Two for two and the Hurricanes just had an afternoon game with New Jersey to sweep the week. Their performance could be described as sleepy. It was not until the second period where Carolina attacked more. And even then they did not get real threatening until after Yegor Sharangovich tipped in a Jesper Boqvist shot in the second period to put the Devils up 1-0. Nico Hischier scored in Brady Skjei’s face in the third period to put the Devils up 2-0. The Canes then needed to get more desperate. They needed more rubber on Jon Gillies. It was not until the last five minutes of the third period before the Canes got a break. Skjei shot a puck towards the net and the puck bounced off Kevin Bahl’s shin and into the net. 2-1. With about two minutes left, Pytor Kochetkov was pulled for an extra skater. Before he could get involved. a Jesper Fast feed was picked up by Nino Niederreiter, who was just behind Nathan Bastian and away from Damon Severson enough to put home the puck past Gillies to tie up the game. Overtime was needed. After a save by Gillies, Severson attempted an exit pass to Boqvist. Tony DeAngelo picked that off, skated in, found Seth Jarvis open to his right, pass, shot, score. The Hurricanes beat the Devils 3-2 in overtime to sweep the week and secure first place in the Metropolitan Division for another snapshot. Thanks to Boston, they even have a two point lead on the Rangers. They are by no means safe, but the Canes are taking care of business.

What’s Coming Up This Week: Carolina will play their final three games within the Metropolitan Division this week. Win out and they take the division. Out-do the Rangers and they take the division. Anything less and they may end up slipping to second place right at the end. Today will be a fatigued game for the Canes as they will visit the Islanders. Both teams played on Saturday. We shall see what they have left in the tank for that one. Speaking of the Rangers, the Hurricanes will visit them on Tuesday night. This will be huge in deciding first place in the Metropolitan Division. Carolina did beat the Rangers, 4-2, in their last meeting in MSG on April 12. They will surely look for a repeat. The Hurricanes will end their season on Thursday instead of Friday. They will host the New Jersey Devils, whom they played and beat in overtime Saturday afternoon. It remains to be seen if the Canes need that game for first place. And, if they need to, become Capitals fans on Friday night. It all comes down to this.

SBN Blog: Canes Country

New York Rangers

What Happened Last Week: Since losing to Carolina on April 12, the Rangers have went on a bit of a tear. This has resulted in the Rangers being right behind the Canes, forcing pressure on the division leaders to keep getting results. This lasted until yesterday. In the Rangers’ week, it began on Tuesday with a home game against Winnipeg. After a scoreless first, Ryan Strome opened the scoring with a PPG in the second period. Adam Fox made it 2-0 in the third and Strome scored again to secure the win. The Jets did not score at all; Igor Shesterkin shut them out in the 3-0 win. On Thursday, the Rangers visited their hated rivals in the area, the New York Islanders. The first period was the Andrew Copp Show featuring a Natural Hat Trick and Burying the Islanders with a 3-0 deficit. The Rangers fans loved it. While Brock Nelson broke the shutout early in the second period, a pair of goals - one each from Chris Kreider and Strome - made it a 5-1 game going into the third period. In a fairly well behaved third period (just one penalty), the goals were just for consolation or insurance. Nelson scored a PPG, Ryan Reaves scored, and Josh Bailey scored after that. All that meant was that the Rangers ended up winning by three instead of four or more, 6-3. Going into Saturday afternoon, the Rangers were tied with the Hurricanes in points and were really right behind them in tiebreakers too. The Canes pulled out an OT win over New Jersey. Would the Rangers beat Boston on national television? No. Boston handled them decisively. David Pastrnak scored in the final minute of the first period, and Taylor Hall finished a breakaway early in the second period to put the Rangers down two. Hope was revived for the Blueshirts when Mika Zibanejad converted a power play early in the third period to make it 2-1. Hope was pulled away when Trent Federic made it a 3-1 game for Boston near the halfway mark of the third period. The Rangers lost. This gave a two-point cushion for first place in Carolina. A winning week but the one loss makes it more likely they are getting Pittsburgh in the first round instead of more games against the B’s.

What’s Coming Up This Week: The New York Rangers have made the race for first interesting. It will come to an end this week one way or another. Tuesday night could ultimately decide it. The Canes are coming to Manhattan on Tuesday night. Carolina beat them 4-2 a few weeks back at MSG. A repeat would all but give the division title to Carolina. A Rangers win may make taking first place more likely again. That game will be huge. No question. They will have two more games after that one. The Rangers will have to avoid a trap on Wednesday, the night after the Carolina game. They will be hosting Montreal, one of the worst teams in the NHL. While the Canadiens are not the total doormats they have been for most of this season, that is a game the Rangers should try to win. New York’s final game of the season will be a home game with Washington on Friday night. They will have a fatigue advantage over the Capitals, who will be in Long Island on the previous night. They could need that game for their own playoff position. We shall see if the Rangers need it themselves. The Blueshirts have come this far. Will they complete their quest? Or end up settling with just home-ice against whoever finishes third in the Metropolitan?

SBN Blog: Blueshirt Banter

Pittsburgh Penguins

What Happened Last Week: The Pittsburgh Penguins were slipping and have found themselves with the awkward possibility of losing their third place spot to Washington. With just two games to play in the week, they needed to make them count and hope for a little help for relief. The Penguins did what they could do. On Thursday night, they hosted Boston. The B’s brought the fire, the flames, the shots, and even a kitchen sink to throw at Casey DeSmith. It was not easy. It was not simple. But DeSmith was perfect with an astounding 52-save shutout. Even if he was beat, the Penguins skaters would provide goal support. Jake Guentzel scored in the first period, late in the second period, and sailed in an ENG for a hat trick. Jason Zucker was the only non-Guentzel scorer in the second period in a 4-0 decisive win. Given how good Boston has been, that was a big one. Yesterday afternoon, the Penguins visited Detroit. Before the game, they were tied with Washington in points. That would end by 3:30 PM ET. Chad Ruhwedel and Sidney Crosby scored within two minutes of each other to get the scoring started in the first period. The Red Wings did show some resistence with a PPG by Jakub Vrana and a Michael Rasmussen goal 17 seconds into the second period. Pittsburgh responded to the 2-2 scoreline the best way possible: with no mercy. Rickard Rakell, Kris Letang, and Evgeni Malkin on a power play put the Pens up 5-2 by the second intermission. Danton Heinen made it a touchdown in the third period and Malkin secured the extra point within the final minute for a gaudy 7-2 in Detroit. The Penguins are not totally safe from Washington but they have the inside track on third place going into the final week of the season.

What’s Coming Up This Week: The Penguins’ slide is now bearing its damage. They could lose third place and slip back to a wild card spot, causing Washington jump them. A first-round match-up with New York may suddenly become one with Carolina or Florida (or New York if the Rangers jump the Canes. The Penguins have three games to play left while Washington has four. They will need some outside help to secure their spot while also taking care of their own business. The Penguins will be in Philadelphia today. This game is almost always a heated rivalry game; it could go pear-shaped for Pittsburgh if the Flyers get going in their favor. On Tuesday, the Penguins will host Edmonton. The Oilers may not have much to play for by Tuesday if they secure home-ice (read: second place) in the Pacific before then. It is still a better Oilers team than it was back in the 2021 portion of the season. The Penguins will get two days off before hosting Columbus, who would have played the night prior. They will have a fatigue advantage against the Blue Jackets, a team that no one can take lightly. They could use all the advantages they could get at this point and try to hold on for one more week. They can do it. But that’s the thing. They have to actually do it.

SBN Blog: PensBurgh

Washington Capitals

What Happened Last Week: Washington went into this week with a shot at catching either Boston for the first wild card spot and Pittsburgh for third in the division. They have been playing rather well as of late. With everything to play for and little to lose, they visited Colorado, Las Vegas, and Arizona. The Avs won 9 straight before playing Washington. This one was close. Garnet Hathaway scored first but Valeri Nichushkin tied it up before the first period ended. Alex Ovechkin converted a power play in the second period. Artturi Lehkonen tied it up in the third period. Then at 10:46, Marcus Johansson broke the tie for Washington again. That goal stood up as the winner in a 3-2 win; a big two points for the Caps and an end to a torrid streak for Colorado. On Wednesday, Washington had a chance to metaphorically slug Las Vegas’ falling playoff chances in the stomach. This was not fully realized, but they tried. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored first; but Alec Martinez tied it up in the first. Ovechkin scored early in the second period, but a quick two goals from the G-Knights early in the third period - Evgenii Dadonov and Chandler Stephenson (PPG) made it 3-2 for Las Vegas. Ovechkin scored later in the third period for his 50th of the season and tied up the game, 3-3. Overtime was needed. Shea Theodore finished the game for the G-Knights, but an OT win really did not help them. So the Caps at least sort-of contributed to the cause. Washington would rebound on Friday night against the Coyotes. Vitek Vanecek did not have to do a lot, but he did his job as best as possible. He faced 19 shots and made 19 saves. Conor Sheary scored in the first period. John Carlson put home an ENG to cap off the 2-0 win. Five points out of six is always a very good week for a team. Yet, the lost point would keep them away from the Penguins and Bruins. Not by much. They are only two points back of the Bruins for the first wild card spot. They also have a game in hand on the Penguins, who are just two points ahead of them.

What’s Coming Up This Week: Washington still has plenty to play for. They could still pull themselves out from the second wild card spot and even take third from Pittsburgh. Their last four games are far from gimmies to get there. Tonight, they will host Toronto. Toronto has all but locked up second place in the Atlantic. But they are a very good team, a high scoring team, a team that has been successful on the road, and a team that would sacrifice plenty for a playoff series win. I doubt they will relax on the road in D.C. After then, the Capitals will have a non-consecutive home-and-home with the Islanders. The Capitals will host the Isles on Tuesday and then go to Long Island on Thursday. The Isles can lock a team down in the net and frustrate opponents. They will not be simple games. Washington’s final game is in Manhattan on Friday night. The Rangers could have first place to play for; they could have an incentive as much as Washington does. It should make for a fierce game depending on how the previous five days went for both teams. Washington has a chance to rise up and snipe third place. It will not be a boring week for the Caps faithful.

SBN Blog: Japers’ Rink

New York Islanders

What Happened Last Week: It was a rough week for the Islanders. First and most importantly, condolences to the family, friends, and supporters of Mike Bossy, the legendary scorer for the Islanders. As for the games, the Islanders earned just one point out of a possible nine. On Sunday, they visited Toronto. The game went well for the first half. Anthony Beauvillier scored first in the game, and Josh Bailey put the Isles up 2-1 just 31 seconds into the second period. Then Pierre Engvall tied it up at 10:49, William Nylander converted a power play goal at 13:20; and David Kampf secured the points with an empty-netter with 9 seconds left in the third period. The Islanders lost 4-2 and were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. On Tuesday, the Islanders returned home to play Florida. After a scoreless first period, Sebastian Aho (the defenseman) put the home team up 1-0. Aleksander Barkov answered that with a PPG later in the second period. Just over a minute into the third period, Jean-Gabriel Pageau converted a power play to put the Isles up 2-1. With just under four minutes left, Barkov struck again to tie up the game. Overtime was needed and it was short. Just twenty seconds in, Jonathan Huberdeau played a pass down to the slot to Barkov driving the net. Barkov tucked it in past Ilya Sorokin’s left skate for his hat trick, Huberdeau’s 81st assist (!!!), and the win. The Isles lost 3-2 and that was the one point they earned. On Thursday, the Islanders hosted their hated rivals. This one was one to forget for the Blue and Orange Army. Andrew Copp of the Rangers scored a natural hat trick in the first period. Brock Nelson gave the Isles some life with a goal 37 seconds into the second period. Only for Chris Kreider (on a power play) and Ryan Strome to make it 5-1 for the Rangers going into the third period. Nelson, Ryan Reeves, and Bailey scored consolation/extra goals in the third period for a 6-3 loss. Yesterday, the Islanders visited Buffalo. They were looking to get at least one victory this week. They left with a loss as the Sabres are now riding a winning streak (four games). Casey Mittelstadt scored in the first period. While Mathew Barzal scored late in the first period, the Sabres took the game in the second with goals by Rasmus Dahlin, Tage Thompson, and Vinnie Hinostroza. The Isles did make it interesting in the third period with Noah Dobson and Kieffer Bellows scoring two minutes apart with less than ten minutes left to play. Only for that to be dashed about two minutes after Bellows’ goal when Jeff Skinner put home a rebound past Sorokin. The Isles went 0-3-1. It could have lost them fifth place or put it more at risk - except Columbus also struggled like the Isles did in this past week.

What’s Coming Up This Week: Despite last week, the Islanders are still in the drivers’ seat for fifth place and can have an impact on two playoff-bound teams in the division. The Islanders will host Carolina today. An Islanders win would help their hated rivals the Rangers; something that would garner a somewhat mixed reaction. On Tuesday and Thursday, they are facing off in a home-and-home with Washington. The Islanders will go to D.C. on Tuesday and then host the Caps on Thursday. The Caps have a real shot at taking third place from Pittsburgh. The Isles can help Pittsburgh by denying the Capitals that shot with wins. The Islanders’ final game will be right after the second Capitals game; they are hosting Tampa Bay on Friday. Tampa Bay may end up needing that game for their own standings fight with Boston. Plus, they could use that game as a last warm-up for their own playoff run. It is a tough week on paper for the Islanders. Like Columbus, the Isles can hang with these teams. Whether they will is another matter. If not, then it is fine - their season has been over anyway.

SBN Blog: Lighthouse Hockey

Columbus Blue Jackets

What Happened Last Week: Columbus finished up their California trip and returned home on Friday night. It did not go well. They went into this week’s games with a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles. Sunday night against Anaheim was more of a goal-fest with a total of ten goals scored. The Ducks stormed to an early lead in the first period with a brace by Troy Terry and a goal by Gerry Mayhew. The Terry goals were split by Jake Bean putting Columbus on the board. Bean would score his second of the game early in the second period and Sean Kuraly tied it up 3-3 around the midpoint. Early in the third period, it seemed like the Ducks made some space with Trevor Zegras and Cam Fowler scoring quickly. Cole Sillinger made it a one-shot game with less than 13 minutes to play. But John Gibson held strong, Derek Grant scored an ENG, and Columbus lost 6-4. The California trip ended on Tuesday night in San Jose. Columbus was trucked in the first period. Scott Reedy scored a power play goal, Rudolf Balcers scored, and Reedy scored late in the first period to put the Blue Jackets down 3-0. After a scoreless second period, the Jackets needed one heck of a third period to salvage the game. They did try their best. Jack Roslovic converted a power play at 1:32 and made it 3-2 at 13:33. Despite the score, the Blue Jackets put up just 7 shots in the third period as they lost that game 3-2. (The game also ended a 10-game winless streak for San Jose.) Columbus returned home on Friday night in the hopes of getting a better result at home. They played Ottawa. Roslovic converted a power play in the first period, Brady Tkachuk put up a game-tying goal in the third period, and Filip Gustavsson and Elvis Merzlikins stopped everything else. A shootout was needed. Tim Stutzle was the only one to score in it. Which meant the Blue Jackets lost that game 2-1. Like the Islanders, they earned just one point in this past week. This means they remain behind them by three points. With a five point lead on Buffalo and two games in hand on them, the Blue Jackets really cannot fall in the standings. Might as well go for fifth in the division - if they can.

What’s Coming Up This Week: The Blue Jackets have four games to play and about none of them are desirable on paper. All four opponents will have playoff positioning to play for. Today, they have Edmonton. They appear safe in the Pacific; a win for them would make home-ice against Los Angeles that much more likely. Then the Blue Jackets get a non-back-to-back home-and-home with Tampa Bay. Tuesday is in Tampa, Thursday is in Columbus. Tampa Bay cannot really catch Toronto, but they likely want to avoid slipping into a wild card spot. Tampa Bay is also really good and they could use these two games to get ready for their attempt at a three-peat in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After the home game on Thursday, they will go East a bit to Pittsburgh. The Penguins may need that game to determine if they’re playing New York first or one of the division leaders. The Blue Jackets are more than capable of ruining the days of Edmonton, Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh. Yet, Columbus has nothing to play for unless they really want fifth place. If they do not, then it does not matter much. At least the preseason predictions of them falling to eighth never came to fruition.

SBN Blog: The Cannon

New Jersey Devils

What Happened Last Week: The New Jersey Devils ended their five-game road trip in Las Vegas on Monday night before returning home for two games in this past week. The game in Las Vegas was a huge one for the G-Knights’ playoff hopes. Surely, they could beat a bottom-five team like the Devils? With Andrew Hammond in net? It turned out it was a tougher task than it would be on paper. Nathan Bastian put home a rebound past Robin Lehner’s left leg to put the Devils up early. Hammond and fortune favored the Devils until a Keegan Kolesar shot snuck through with a few minutes left in the second period. Would that be enough for the G-Knights to breakthrough? No. Andreas Johnsson roofed a shot past Lehner early in the third to make it 2-1. Then Jesper Boqvist took a turnover, turned out Alex Pietrangelo one-on-one, and caught Lehner frozen on a low shot. The Devils were up 3-1 and Hammond was still in form. Chandler Stephenson put back a rebound (like a fourth rebound try) to give Las Vegas hope. But it would not be enough. The Devils won 3-2. Las Vegas’ playoff odds went from low to really low. The Devils returned home with a fairly successful trip at 3-2-0, especially considering how bad the Devils have been on the road this season. Unfortunately, the Devils would not find success again this week. Hammond took to the net against Buffalo on Thursday night. After a scoreless first period that saw Buffalo skate a bit too freely at times, the Devils ended up with a power play after a brief four-on-four. This would spell doom for the Devils as Kyle Okposo stunned Hammond with a shot from the blueline for a shorthanded goal. On the same power play, a dispossessed Pavel Zacha led to an Alex Tuch shorthanded goal. For the second time this season, the Devils gave up two shorties in the game. Dahlin scored late in the second period to make it 3-0. A Boqvist strike with eight seconds left at least put the Devils on the board. The Devils made it a one-goal game when Nikita Okhotiuk scored his first NHL goal to make it 3-2 early in the third. This hope of a comeback faded when Owen Power finished a rush up ice for his first NHL goal, which made Hammond seemingly lament his existence, to make it 4-2. Jeff Skinner made it 5-2 to send the home fans home unhappy for a loss. Yesterday, the Devils hosted the division leading Carolina Hurricanes. This was a low-shot affair for much of the game as the Devils tried and largely succeeded at frustrating a Canes team that didn’t exactly play their best right away. Jon Gillies was performing well in net. The Devils power play, which was 0-for-31 and scoreless in April, finally scored their first PPG in the second period. Yegor Sharangovich touched-off a Boqvist one-timer for the game’s first goal. Nico Hischier scored in Brady Skeji’s face with a near-perfect far post shot past Pytor Kotchetkov. The Devils were up 2-0. The Canes turned up the pressure and the Devils seemingly handled it. Then a bad bounce happened; a Skjei shot went off Kevin Bahl’s shin and went past Gillies with less than five minutes left. A few minutes later, Kotchetkov was pulled. Which did not matter much as a Nino Neiderreiter got a puck down low past Nathan Bastian and away from Severson to tuck it in past Gillies to tie up the game. Overtime occurred. Despite winning possession first and a Boqvist attempt to the net, possession was lost to the Canes. Gillies made a save. Severson picked up the rebound and saw Boqvist over the blueline. Severson attempted the pass, Tony DeAngelo picked it off. He found Seth Jarvis all alone to the left of Gillies. Pass, shot, 2-3 overtime loss in Newark to send the fans home unhappy. The Devils split the week in points. They remain ahead of the Flyers by three points with the same number of games left. Seventh is likely. While a 1-1-1 week is not that bad on its own, how they got it feels that way. Especially with the fact that the team remains winless at home in April.

What’s Coming Up This Week: The Devils are going to be very familiar with Detroit and Carolina this week. Three of their last four games are against them. The Devils will be hosting Detroit today and on Friday for their season-ending match-up. The Red Wings beat them in the D way back in December. But much has changed since then, so who knows how it will go. Carolina, whom the Devils played yesterday, will be the Devils’ final road opponent on Thursday. That could have implications for first place in the division depending on what happens between now and Thursday night. The exception is Tuesday night, when the Devils will visit Ottawa and, hopefully, try to get a win over them. The Devils could actually jump past Chicago and Ottawa in the standings; avoiding a bottom-five finish. But a bottom-ten finish is guaranteed for a team whose GM promised meaningful games in March for this season after last season. That didn’t happen.

SBN Blog: All About the Jersey - It’s almost over!

Philadelphia Flyers

What Happened Last Week: Philadelphia won a game! They have an outside chance of finishing outside of the bottom four teams in the NHL! That’s...something? In any case, it took two more losses before that elusive win. The Flyers hosted Buffalo last Sunday to complete a weekend home-and-home with the Sabres. They kept it close. Kevin Hayes scored first - which was answered by Victor Olofsson on a power play and Anders Bjork in the first period. Noah Cates scored first in the second period - which was also answered by Olofsson on a power play and Tage Thompson. With a bit under six minutes left, Zack MacEwen made it a one-goal game for Philly. But a Thompson empty netter sealed a then-fifth straight loss for the Flyers, 5-3. On Tuesday, the Flyers went to Toronto - who has been on a tear in recent weeks. After a scoreless first period, Timothy Liljegren opened the scoring early in the second period. James van Reimsdyk provided an equalizer, only for Toronto to take the game with a PPG by William Nylander and a late second period strike by Jason Spezza. A David Kampf goal about halfway through the third all but sealed the game. Ronnie Attard gave a late lifeline for the visitors, but Ilya Mikheyev secured a then-sixth straight loss for Philly with an empty netter for a 5-2 final score. Thursday night would be the night it would change. The Flyers were in the home of the hapless Montreal Canadiens. The Flyers scored first and second thanks to van Riemsdyk and Ivan Provorov. Montreal tied it up the game with a first period goal by Mike Hoffman and an early second period goal by Jake Evans. The difference maker came from Oskar Lindblom about a minute and change after Evans’ equalizer. Travis Konecny scored minutes later to put the Flyers up 4-2. In the third period, the Flyers really put the game out of reach for Montreal. Morgan Frost scored with less than five minutes left and with just over three minutes left, van Riemsdyk completed his brace. A consolation goal from Cole Caufield ended the night at 6-3 for the Flyers, ending a six-game losing streak and earning them their first win since April 7. They could still catch New Jersey. Although I wonder how many Flyers fans would prefer Seattle jumping them in the standings instead.

What’s Coming Up This Week: The Flyers will end their season with four games in the last six days: just like most of the division. Today, they are hosting their hated rivals in Pittsburgh. They can do the Capitals a solid with a win today. Pride alone would make it desirable. The remainder of the week is against three teams with nothing else to play for. The Flyers will be in Chicago on Monday, in Winnipeg on Wednesday, and returning home to host Ottawa on Friday. Even with a perfect week, they cannot jump Ottawa (they have an advantage in RW). Winnipeg already has over 80 points, they’re untouchable. That game in Chicago could help shape the bottom five. The Flyers could finish fifth from last or even just better than that; but it will take them having a good week for the first time in a long time to do it. Stranger things have happened.

SBN Blog: Broad Street Hockey


That was the twenty-seventh Weekly Metropolitan Division Snapshot of the 2021-22 season, covering the twenty-eighth week of the season. This is it for the snapshot this season. Thank you to everyone who read them all season or just here and there or even if this is for the first time. What did you think of the season? Does anyone get spoiled this week? Who takes the division, who falls into the wild card spot, and will the Devils at least finish ahead of Philadelphia? Please leave your answers and other thoughts for the division and this snapshot in the comments. Again, thank you for reading.