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Weekly Metropolitan Division Snapshot: 1/8 - 1/14

In the thirteenth weekly Metropolitan Division snapshot of the season, the Carolina Hurricanes’ winning run ended, the New Jersey Devils finally won a home game, and the Pittsburgh Penguins fell. Read on for the week that was and week that will be for all eight teams in the division.

NHL: JAN 05 Predators at Hurricanes
“We’re in first but we really do need a lift. No, I do not mean a gym session, but I could use one of those too.”
Photo by Katherine Gawlik/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The thing about winning streaks is that they eventually end. And the response is a little bit more magnified to see what the response is. Those chasing a team who is on or just had a winning streak may like their chances if they falter. The problem in today’s NHL is that they usually have to go on a run themselves and hope the teams ahead of them slip up. This is all to say that the Carolina Hurricanes have finally lost a game and did not even win this week. Yet, they still control their own destiny in the Metropolitan Division ahead of the New Jersey Devils, the New York teams, the Washington Capitals, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Here are the standings in this, the thirteenth division snapshot of the season:

Metropolitan Division Standings as of the morning of January 08, 2023
Metropolitan Division Standings as of the morning of January 08, 2023

Most of the division suffered in this past week with only the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and Philadelphia Flyers winning their week. The Devils snuffed out the Rangers’ own winning streak yesterday, which also ended a eight-game home winless slide for them. The Flyers’ two wins out of two does basically nothing for them at the moment. Everyone else slipped up, with Pittsburgh taking the fall outside of the playoff spots. To that end, most everyone in the division will want to have a better time in this coming week. There are six games within the division which will make it a little interesting. Only a little as the bottom two teams are involved in four of those six. Those games are highlighted and in bold as usual:

Metropolitan Division team schedules for 01/08/2023 to 01/14/2023
Metropolitan Division team schedules for 01/08/2023 to 01/14/2023
Team schedules via

Here is the week that was and week that will be for all eight teams in the division.

Carolina Hurricanes

What Happened Last Week: Carolina was on fire. Their epic run would only last one more game into this week - and even that almost did not happen. The Hurricanes began the new year in Newark to play the Devils. Derek Stepan opened the scoring the Canes. Jack Hughes would provide a response. Then an epic failure by Mackenzie Blackwood yielded the easiest shorthanded goal for Sebastian Aho to make it 2-1 going into the second period. Then the game went odd. Jesper Bratt tied it up. Stepan out-worked a bigger Kevin Bahl to make it 3-2. Nico Hischier scored and then Bratt scored in a 4-on-4 situation. But penalties by Dawson Mercer and Ryan Graves would help set up a situation for Martin Necas to tie it up late in the third. Overtime yielded nothing. In a shootout, Andrei Svechnikov was the only one to score to give Carolina a 5-4 win. The streak would end at 11, though, in Manhattan. The Canes took an early lead. Brent Burns scored first. While Jacob Trouba scored a PPG late in the first period, Necas made it 2-1 on the next shift. This score held until late in the second period when Mika Zibanejad broke the tie with a power play goal. This also did not last long with Jalen Chatfield scoring on the next shift. The third period was all New York, though. Artemi Panarin made it 3-3 just 36 seconds into the period, K’Andre Miller broke the tie at 10:27, and Filip Chytil sealed the end of Carolina’s hot run with a power play empty netter. A 5-3 loss. Carolina would have to respond in hosting Nashville on Thursday. The Canes brought it to Juuse Saros all night long. It seemed to work as Paul Statsny, Brady Skjei, and Jordan Staal would score. The problem was that Nashville responded to each of those goals. Specifically from Filip Forsberg, Mattias Ekholm, and Cody Glass. In the third period, the Hurricanes made it rain pucks on Saros with 28 shots on net for a game total of 67 shots on net. Talk about getting goalie’d. Saros was perfect in the third period. Pytor Kochetkov was not as Mark Jankowski broke the 3-3 tie in the third period. An empty netter from Colton Sissons sealed up another 5-3 loss in perhaps the most teeth-gnashing game of the season for Carolina. Seriously, 67 shots on net. At least Max Pacioretty returned to Carolina’s lineup. He was present in Carolina’s final game of this week; a road game in Columbus. Kirill Marchenko of the Blue Jackets stunned the Canes with back-to-back power play goals to give them the lead. Pacioretty would begin the comeback with Carolina’s first goal. Skjei and Pacioretty again, both on power play strikes, put Carolina ahead 3-2. This did not last. Marchenko completed his hat trick in the third period. Carolina could not break the tie. Overtime was needed and solved nothing. Carolina entered their second shootout of the week. It went beyond the three rounds as Marchenko and Patrik Laine scored as did Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen. Kent Johnson ended it in the fifth round. Carolina suffered an unexpected 4-3 shootout loss to the worst team int he division. After 11 straight wins, they are now winless in three and just four points ahead of the Devils in first place.

What’s Coming Up This Week: Needless to say, their first game has some more sizzle to it. They will host the New Jersey Devils. While the Canes have two wins over the Devils, New Jersey is not entirely slumping anymore. At least not in road games. A Carolina win would be a welcomed boost for their division lead. Otherwise, well, the month gets more interesting for Carolina. Carolina will get to go back to Ohio on Thursday. They have an opportunity for revenge. An odd sentence to write given where these two teams are in the standings, but a true one. Another test for Carolina will come on Saturday when they host the Penguins. Pittsburgh may be reeling now. They may not be by this coming Saturday. And if that is the case, the Hurricanes will need to be careful as the Pens may be hungry to move up at Carolina’s expense. It seems dramatic but another poor week could lead to a fall from first place. Just ask the second place team in the division.

New Jersey Devils

What Happened Last Week: The Devils were in search for a home win. They ended their winless streak in December on the road. They won their last two road games in December. With three at the Rock and one away from the Rock, it was a prime week to end their winless slide at home. It almost did not happen. On New Year’s Day, the Devils hosted Carolina. After a scoreless first period, Derek Stepan opened the scoring. Jack Hughes provided the equalizer to kick off a big week for The Big Deal. Alas, during a late power play, a turnover led to an embarrassing whiff by MacKenzie Blackwood to essentially give Aho the easiest shorthanded goal of his career. The Devils were down 2-1. In the third period, Jesper Bratt emerged. He would tie up the game. While Stepan put the Canes back up, Nico Hischier would provide another equalizer. After a 4-on-4 situation formed after a horrid embellishment call on Jonas Siegenthaler, Bratt powered in a second goal to make it 4-3 for New Jersey. Alas, Dawson Mercer high-sticked Necas and a returning Ryan Graves cleared a puck over the glass. It was not a 5-on-3 goal, but Necas tied up the game on a power play at 4-4. Overtime was needed and it solved nothing. The Devils entered their first shootout of the season. They did not score and Andrei Svechnikov did. So the Devils lost 5-4 at home. On Wednesday, the Devils went into Detroit. Vitek Vanecek was strong in the net and the Devils eventually broke down Ville Husso. Dougie Hamilton converted a power play to open the scoring and Hischier tipped in a Hamilton shot for another PPG and a 2-0 lead. Early in the third, Michael McLeod cleaned up a rush play to make it 3-0 and the good times kept rolling. Alexander Holtz rocketed in a shot to make it 4-0. Hughes used his superlative hands to score off a Red Wing to make it 5-0. It was a slow-motion rout. Lucas Raymond broke the shutout bid with a PPG, but the Devils still won 5-1. Very nice. The Devils returned home to host St. Louis. Ondrej Palat returned, Akira Schmid was called up for Blackwood, and the Devils fans were hoping for a winning effort. Jordan Kyrou opened the scoring with a killer deflection. No matter, Jack Hughes was there and he put the Devils up 2-1 in the second period. Only for Ivan Barbashev to pick a corner and tie up the game late in the period. The Blues kept rolling in the third. Brandon Saad made Kevin Bahl look silly and scored five-hole on Schmid to make it 3-2. Robert Thomas converted a power play to make it 4-2. Hischier tipped in another shot from Hamilton to make it a one-score game with over seven minutes left. Yet, the game ended with Thomas putting home an ENG and the Devils failing to get more past Jordan Binnington. The Devils lost 5-3 for an eighth straight winless game at home. Yesterday, the Devils hosted their hated rivals in the Rangers. A Rangers win would move them up to second past the Devils. It looked good for the visitors early. Jimmy Vesey scored within the opening minutes. The Devils failed to score in a 5-on-3 late in the first period. Julian Gauthier made the Devils look silly on a score. A brief ray of hope came from, who else, Jack Hughes, to make it 2-1. Only for Chris Kreider to make it 3-1 later. Down two going into the third period, would there even be a comeback? Yes, there would be. After killing a penalty, Kaapo Kakko took a slashing minor. The Devils punished him for it when Bratt fired a laser of a one-timer to make it 3-2. About two minutes later, Hughes finished a loose puck to make it 3-3 and proudly showed his logo. Overtime was needed. Damon Severson, he of catastrophic errors on defense, managed to become the hero. He won the puck from Alexis Lafreniere, headed forward with Hischier in a 2-on-1, kept the puck, and ripped one past Igor Shesterkin. The Devils won 4-3 in OT. The Devils finally won at home. They beat the one team the Devils fans always want them to beat. They stay in second place for now and even won the week. A positive start to 2023 despite the home losses to Carolina and St. Louis.

What’s Coming Up This Week: The Devils will get to flex their road muscles for the next two weeks as they will enter a five game road trip. Their first stop is in Carolina for their third game against the Canes within the past four weeks. With Carolina no longer hot and winning everything under the sun for a month, this game could be fruitful for the Devils. With the game potentially leading to making first place available, it carries some weight. The Devils will then go play three games in four nights to close this week and start next week. They will be in Anaheim on Friday night and in Los Angeles on Saturday night. Anaheim is very much a potential spoiler opponent. The Devils saw them and beat them way back in October. That was then, this is now. Los Angeles is a tougher opponent as they are a playoff-qualify squad in the Pacific Division. Road trips can be tricky for any team. This week will not be easy. Yet, if the Devils retain their road warrior reputation this season, then they could end up benefitting from this trip.

New York Rangers

What Happened Last Week: The Rangers backed into 2023. They responded by nearly sweeping the first week of it. On New Year’s Day, they visited the Panthers in Sunrise, Florida. The Rangers took a lead and never lost it despite the Panthers giving chase. Mika Zibanejad scored a PPG in the first period and a second goal past halfway through the second period. Nick Cousins put Florida within one - until Kreider made it a two goal lead again. That did not last as Sam Bennett converted a power play late in the second period. Yet, Vincent Trocheck converted a power play of his own to restore the two goal lead. Until Eric Staal made it a one goal game again shortly thereafter. These responses ended when Artemi Panarin made it a 5-3 game midway through the third. That score held up and the Rangers won. The Rangers returned to MSG to host the then-hottest team in hockey in Carolina. The Rangers managed to be the ones to slay the Hurricanes’ winning streak. It did not seem that way through two periods. Brent Burns and Martin Necas sandwiched a Jacob Trouba PPG to make it 2-1 going into the second period. While Zibanejad scored a PPG in the second period, Jalen Chatfield scored on the next shift to put the Canes up 3-2 going into the third. The Rangers ended Carolina’s run in the third period. Panarin scored just 36 seconds into the period. K’Andre Miller broke the tie to make it 4-3 around midway through the period. Filip Chytil ended the streak with a PPG-ENG and sealed up a 5-3 win. Two wins in a row for New York and a move up the standings. On Thursday, the Rangers went up to Montreal. It took a period, but the Rangers basically won the game in the second period. Kreider scored a shorthanded goal to start things off, Braden Schneider scored to make it 2-0, and Chytil scored a little after that to put Montreal down 3-0. Jaroslav Halak was in control. Joel Armia broke his shutout, but Halak was fine elsewhere. Chytil ended the game with another power play empty net goal to make it a 4-1 win for the Rangers. Three wins in a row and a chance to pour misery over their hated rivals in New Jersey on Saturday. It was looking good early on. Jimmy Vesey scored within the opening minutes. The Rangers went up 3-1 in the second period with Julian Gauthier and Kreider sandwiching a Jack Hughes goal. Igor Shesterkin looked great. Then came the third period. After failing to convert a power play, Kaapo Kakko took a slashing penalty, and Jesper Bratt converted that power play with a laser of a one-timer past Shesterkin. Minutes later, a broken play set up Jack Hughes to tie up the game at 3-3. In overtime, the Rangers mustered up only one shot on net. It all ended when Damon Severson won a puck from Alexis Lafreniere, led a 2-on-1, and scored his third of the season past Shesterkin. If only he was better in the third. Alas, the Rangers lost 4-3 in OT. They get a point. They end their week at 3-0-1. They are in third. But if they closed the deal in New Jersey, then they would be in second. What could have been, Blueshirts. What could have been. Oh, and they are just a point ahead of the Capitals now.

What’s Coming Up This Week: The New York Rangers may suffer a drop thanks to their schedule this week. They just have two games to play. The good news is that they are both at home. The bad news is that they are against some quality teams. The Rangers will host Minnesota on Tuesday night. The Wild are in their own playoff battle in the Central and they are capable of scoring heaps of goals. On Thursday, the Rangers will host Dallas. They lead the Central - for now - and they have been successful on the road on top of scoring a lot themselves. The Rangers will need to get results just to avoid slipping behind teams who will play more games this week. Like the fourth place Capitals, whom they do need to be worried about to a point.

Washington Capitals

What Happened Last Week: Washington went into this new calendar year with plenty of points and a disadvantage in games played. Seriously, everyone in the division has games in hand on them. If the Capitals kept on winning though, then it may not be such a big deal. Unfortunately, they did not keep on winning in 2023. They began last week at home against a high-scoring Buffalo team. A Buffalo team that went up 2-1 in the first period with goals by Alex Tuch and Tage Thompson coming before and after a Sonny Milano score. Thompson made it two goals and a 3-1 lead for Buffalo in the second period. Alex Ovechkin made it a 3-2 game going into the third period and it would be the start of a comeback. A comeback that took all of 55 seconds of the third period for Nic Dowd to tie up the game. And Ovechkin scored again to put the Caps up 4-3. This would not hold, though. Tyson Jost would be the one to tie up the game at 4-4 later in the third period. Overtime would be needed and a hero would emerge. Specifically, Buffalo’s hero of the season: Tage Thompson. He completed a hat trick with the game-winning goal in OT. The Caps lost 5-4 to Buffalo. At least they got the point. Washington took their frustrations out on Columbus on Thursday night. While Johnny Gaudreau made it a 1-0 game in the first period for the Blue Jackets, the Capitals brought the gravity in the second period. T.J. Oshie tied up the game early in the period. Later on, Nicolas Aube-Kubel made it 2-1. Gavin Bayreuther would tie it up for Columbus. After Martin Fehevary restored the lead late in the period, it was all Capitals. Garnet Hathaway made it 4-2 with just over a minute left in the second; Oshie scored a PPG in the third period to make it 5-2; and Ovechkin scored a PPG to make it 6-2. The Capitals won big time in Ohio. They would return to D.C. for a Friday night game against Nashville, who just stunned Carolina as Juuse Saros stopped 64 out of 67 shots. Kevin Lankinen was not too shabby for NAshville. The Preds went up in the first period with a goal by Tomas Novak and Yakov Trenin, which surrounded a Milano goal for a 2-1 Nashville lead. Aube-Kubel would tie it up in the second period. However, Lankinen denied the Capitals a go-ahead goal. It would be none other than Ryan McDonagh to provide a late go-ahead goal for Nashville in the third period. His first of the season led to a 3-2 defeat of the Capitals in Washington D.C. A 1-1-1 week plus a games played disadvantage? That fourth place spot is not at all strong - even if they are just a point behind the Rangers.

What’s Coming Up This Week: Fortunately for the Capitals, they get to play three fairly spaced out games against the two teams with no realistic shot at the playoffs in this division. The Capitals will host Columbus today. They just beat them 6-2. Provided they do not overlook the Jackets, they can probably beat them again. On Wednesday, the Capitals will go to Philadelphia. They will host Philly on Saturday. The Flyers are no pushovers, but their record belies a team that is not at all 100% and has 0% real shot of playing beyond Game #82. You can file those two games (and this week) under “You really should get results if you want to be in the playoffs.” Washington is capable. They just have to avoid the snares in this week coming up.

New York Islanders

What Happened Last Week: The Islanders were on the road to start this year with a four-game trip into the Northwest. I usually write that those trips are tough. The Isles found that out the hard way. Last Sunday, they were in Seattle. The first period was a game as Adam Larsson opened the scoring and Mat Barzal provided a late period equalizer. Then the Isles could not solve Martin Jones - really, just 19 against him, Isles? - and the Kraken kept on rolling. Eeli Tolvanen scored a power play goal early in the second and Oliver Bjorkstrand added to the lead later in the second period. Brandon Tanev secured the win with an empty net goal. The Isles lost 4-1. The second stop was in Vancouver on Tuesday. The Canucks are in a state of disarray this season. Bo Horvat scored the lone goal of the first period. Then the Isles just went off on the Canucks. Aatu Raty made it 1-1 early in the second period. Jean-Gabriel Pageau converted a power play goal to make it 2-1. Barzal made it 3-1 late. Horvat did score a PPG before the end of the period to make it a game at 3-2. The third period continued the Isles’ onslaught. Anders Lee made it 4-2 early in the third. Casey Cizikas made it 5-2 later on. Pageau scored a shorthanded empty netter (really, an empty net when down three?) for what would be a 6-2 final. The Isles won. Then came a back to back in Alberta. First in Edmonton on Thursday and then in Calgary on Friday. Neither were wins for the Isles. Leon Draisaitl and Kailer Yamamoto scored a PPG and SHG, respectively, to put the Isles down two. Barzal made it a game early in the second period. Only for Dylan Holloway and, later, Zach Hyman to pull Edmonton further away. Cal Clutterbuck scored a late period consolation goal. The Isles lost 4-2 in Edmonton. In Calgary, they took their lumps in the first period. Milan Lucic and Blake Coleman each scored within two minutes of each other to open the scoring. Nikita Zadorov made it 3-0. Zach Parise broke the shutout with a minute left. That would be it for the Isles. They suffered without Barzal, although I am not sure it would matter. Nazem Kadri scored in the third to make it 4-1 - the final score of the game and the trip. The Islanders went 1-3-0 on this road trip to the Northwest. Their reward is a fifth place spot in the division - send a thank you card to Pittsburgh - and being four points behind the Capitals. I told you it was a difficult trip.

What’s Coming Up This Week: The Islanders will return home for their next five games. They will play three of them this week. It may not be a successful return, though. They will host Dallas on Tuesday. The Stars can score a lot and they are battling for first in the Central Division, which they currently own. On Thursday, the Isles will host Minnesota. Another good team who is competing to secure their own playoff spot and can score heaps of goals. At least on Saturday, they will get a little respite in hosting Montreal. The Canadiens are not playing for much at this point. The Isles just have to make sure they do not get lulled into a false sense of security. The following week will be incredibly nasty; no need to look ahead to that.

Pittsburgh Penguins

What Happened Last Week: The Penguins struggled going into a national television event on Monday. They played Boston at Fenway Park in the NHL’s Winter Classic. The game itself was tight, well played, and not successful for Pittsburgh. Kasperi Kapanen put the Pens up in the second period. However, Jake DeBrusk scored during the third period and put the B’s up 2-1 with less than three minutes left in regulation. The Penguins lost 2-1 in front of a big audience; their fifth straight loss. The Penguins remained on the road and went to Las Vegas on Thursday night. Their fortunes would not change. Phil Kessel, a returning Jack Eichel, and Chandler Stephenson all scored in the first period to put the Penguins in a deep hole. Mark Stone dug them in further with 11 seconds left in the second period for a 4-0 deficit. At this point, the goals from Pittsburgh were consolation goals. Ty Smith scored his first as a Pittsburgh Penguin. Even this could not stand on its own; Paul Cotter made it 5-1 later in the third. Sidney Crosby scored with 90 seconds left, but all that did was make it a 5-2 final score in a game where Adin Hill goalie’d the Pens. The Penguins have now went winless in their last six games. They have fallen out of the playoff spots and sit in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. If they are not careful, they could be left further behind.

What’s Coming Up This Week: The Penguins will have four games to play in this week to make things right. On paper, they may welcome their first two of the week. The Penguins will be at Arizona State University to play the Coyotes tonight. Then the Pens will host Vancouver on Tuesday. Both teams have nothing but lottery balls to play for. Pittsburgh really needs results from those games. After those two games, the Penguins will have a really tough back-to-back set. They will host Winnipeg on Friday and then visit Carolina on Saturday. Winnipeg is in a dogfight with Dallas for first in the Central and should command loads of respect. Carolina may be sliding after an inferno of a hot streak, but they are still 5-on-5 monsters and the Penguins have been in the middle of a slump. The Penguins really should aim to get out of this slump in this week. Otherwise, they will have a bigger gap to chase to get into the playoffs and it is hard to catch up when the other teams are so close to each other in the standings. Penguins fans have to hope their team will not suddenly be left out on the outside to look in.

Philadelphia Flyers

What Happened Last Week: The Flyers had two games to play to start this year and they were against teams they could beat. They went to Anaheim on Monday and they hosted Arizona on Thursday. They did beat both of them. In Anaheim, goaltender Samuel Ersson sparkled with 28 saves out of 29 shots. The Flyers went up early and never looked back. Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost scored in the first period, Travis Konecny scored in the second, and Scott Laughton scored in the third. Ryan Strome scored with 40 seconds left to deny Ersson the shutout. The Flyers won their third in a row, 4-1. Against Arizona, the Flyers went down early went Michael Carcone scored in the first period. The Flyers’ response was a five-goal second period. Konecny, Farabee, Wade Allison, Ivan Provorov, and Kevin Hayes all scored to put the Flyers up 5-2 at the end of the second period. Nick Ritchie scored after Konecny’s goal, but his goal was clearly buried by the Orange and Black. James van Reimsdyk put an exclamation mark on the game with a goal in the third period. A 6-2 win in Carter Hart’s return to the net. The Flyers won four in a row, two in this week, and while it does not mean much at all, it is evidence that the Flyers are not the worst. Will the good times keep on rolling?

What’s Coming Up This Week: I will answer that. On paper, no. This week for the Flyers is a massively tough one. They will host Toronto tonight, a team that can make life difficult for just about any team in the NHL. Then the Flyers are off to Buffalo for a Monday night game. Not only will they have a rest disadvantage, they are playing one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL and features the hottest non-McDavid scorer in the world in Tage Thompson. After that, the Flyers will play the Capitals twice. The Flyers will host them on Wednesday and visit them on Saturday. Washington has something to play for on top of being formidable in their own right. Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom may be more in form by then. Good luck getting any results out of these four games, Flyers. You will need it.

Columbus Blue Jackets

What Happened Last Week: Columbus opened this new calendar year with a road game in Ottawa. Any hopes of a better season early in 2023 died on January 3. They did not score. Derick Brassard, Tim Stutzle, Drake Batherson, and Austin Watson all scored with Stutzle’s goal being the only even strength goal. A 4-0 loss opened the new year for Columbus. Oof. They hosted Washington last Thursday. The good news is that they scored a goal. Johnny Gaudreau scored and it even had Columbus leading for a period. Then the Capitals brought the Jackets down to reality. T.J. Oshie and Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored to put the Jackets down. Gavin Bayreuther tied it up, which lasted for a few minutes. Then Martin Fehervary and Garnet Hathaway made it 4-2 for Washington going into the third period. Oshie and Ovechkin scored power play goals in the third to make it a 6-2 loss for Columbus. Would Columbus be able to get close to a win in this first week of the new year? Surprisingly, yes. They would do that against Carolina. After a scoreless first period, Kirill Marchenko scored a power play and even strength goal to put the Jackets up 2-0 in the second period. This lead would not last. Max Pacioretty would score a PPG and an EVG along with a PPG by Brady Skjei to have Columbus enter the third period down 3-2. It was a one-shot game and the equalizer would come. From Marchenko, who finished his first NHL hat trick to make it 3-3. Joonas Korpisalo got hot down the stretch and overtime was needed. That did not decide anything so a shootout was required. Marchenko and Patrik Laine scored, while Andrei Svechnikov and Tuevo Teravainen did so to force extra rounds. In the fifth round, Kent Johnson ended it for Columbus. The Blue Jackets won a shootout. They beat Carolina, yes, the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-4. It is not much, but better to end the first week 1-2-0 instead of 0-3-0.

What’s Coming Up This Week: Columbus has the opportunity to do some more spoiling. Then again, it could end up being another long week in a season full of them for Columbus. Tonight, they are visiting the Capitals. They just lost to Washington 6-2 last week, so I am unsure what would be much different about a re-match. Especially in D.C. and, presumably, with Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom returning. On Tuesday, the Blue Jackets are going to Tampa Bay. The Bolts are not entirely safe in third place in the Atlantic, but they have a cushion of points. They are also real good so good luck to Columbus trying to get something there. On Thursday, the Jackets will host Carolina again. The Canes may want revenge, strange as that is to read. Trying to beat them a second time in as many weeks is a tall order for anyone, much less the last place team in the division. Columbus’ week ends in Detroit on Saturday night. If Detroit has any real aspirations for playing for something down the stretch of the season, then they will want to beat a team like Columbus. As with Philadelphia, good luck to the Blue Jackets this week. They will need it.

That was the thirteenth Weekly Metropolitan Division Snapshot of the 2022-23 season. What do you expect to happen in this week coming up? Will Carolina hold onto first place for another week? Who do you think will finish in second and third place by next Sunday? Can Pittsburgh right the ship before the Islanders do? How much more spoiling can the Flyers and Blue Jackets do in this week coming up? 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.