Isles and Caps making early noise: FTHN’s Metropolitan Division Recap – Week 2
We go around the Metro to look at the week that was.
New York Islanders
Record for the week: 2-1, four points, three games played. Total: 4-1-0, eight points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Remember what I said last week about a 2-3 start being possible? Funny story about that. The Isles are on the rise, as they beat the Rangers 6-3 and the Sharks 4-3 in a shootout, before stumbling in a 3-1 loss to the Penguins.
Who’s hot? John Tavares, and Brock Nelson. Nelson’s four goals lead the team, while Tavares continues to make plays — as evident in his seven assists and nine points. Prior to the Pittsburgh game, the Isles were the league’s last unbeaten team.
Who’s not? The league-worst penalty kill, at 58.8 percent.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday vs. Toronto (7 p.m.), Thursday at Boston (7 p.m.), Saturday vs. Dallas (7 p.m.).
Record for the week: 1-1-1, three points, three games played. Total: 3-0-2, eight points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Even. The Capitals took San Jose and Florida to shootouts (losing a high-offense, near-comeback game to San Jose, 6-5 and beating the Panthers 2-1), while losing 6-2 to the Devils in between.
Who’s hot? Longtime Capital Mike Green. Green’s two goals and five points are among the team’s leaders.
Who’s not? Not too much for the Capitals to complain about, as they have yet to suffer a regulation loss this season.
Schedule for the week: Wednesday at Edmonton (9:30 p.m.), Saturday at Calgary (10 p.m.), Sunday at Vancouver (9:30 p.m.).
Record for the week: 1-1, two points, two games played. Total: 3-1-0, six points
Are they on the rise or fall? Even. The Pens led Dallas 2-0 through much of Thursday’s game and led 2-1 through much of the third period, but two Dallas goals in the final three minutes — including a Tyler Seguin power play tally with 3.9 seconds to go — sealed a loss. The team bounced back Saturday, handing the Islanders the first loss of their season, 3-1.
Who’s hot? Patric Hornqvist, as he’s recorded four goals and eight points so far — second most on the team.
Who’s not? Sidney Crosby. Best player or not, ten seconds to go in a tie game is not a good time to take a tripping penalty, especially against a top-10 powerplay unit.
Schedule for the week: Wednesday vs. Flyers (8 p.m.), Thursday at Detroit Islanders (7:30 p.m.), Saturday at Nashville (8 p.m.).
Columbus Blue Jackets
Record for the week: 1-2, two points, two games played. Total: 3-2-0, six points
Are they on the rise or fall? Slight fall. The Jackets allowed a Tyler Seguin hat trick in a 4-2 loss on Tuesday, and split a back-to-back against two Canadian clubs in Calgary and Ottawa. They held on for a 3-2 win against the Flames, and while they rallied back from a 2-0 deficit against the Sens, they ended up losing 3-2.
Who’s hot? The top line of Nick Foligno and Cam Atkinson, centered by Ryan Johansen. The trio leads the Jackets in points — Johansen and Foligno have seven each, while Atkinson has five.
Who’s not? Nobody sticks out, despite two losses last week.
Schedule for the week: Thursday at San Jose (10:30 p.m.), Friday at Anaheim (10 p.m.), Sunday vs. Los Angeles (4 p.m.).
New Jersey Devils
Record for the week: 1-2, two points, three games played. Total: 3-2-0, six points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Neutral ground. The Devils held the Tampa Bay Lightning to just a goal (rendering Steven Stamkos without a point), before losing control against the Capitals. A 2-2 tie after won resulted in four unanswered goals for the Caps, and they won 6-2. They also lost 4-2 to San Jose — a game in which Logan Couture recorded three points.
Who’s hot? Rookie Damon Severson continues to impress with four points in his first five games, while Mike Cammalleri leads the team with seven points.
Who’s not? Defense and penalty kill. Not only was Washington able to dictate Thursday’s game from the start with an Alex Ovechkin goal 34 seconds in, but the Caps were able to run away with four unanswered goals as well, including three in the third period.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday vs. Rangers (7 p.m.), Friday vs. Dallas (7 p.m.), Saturday at Ottawa (7 p.m.).
New York Rangers
Record for the week: 2-1, four points, three games played. Total: 3-3-0, six points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Rise. A shootout win against the Hurricanes coupled with a shutout win over San Jose brings the Rangers to .500 on the young season.
Who’s hot? Rick Nash, whose seven goals so far are tops in the league, by two. This is looking like the Rick Nash that the Rangers traded for back in 2012. Nash also added the Rangers’ lone shootout tally against the Hurricanes on Thursday.
Who’s not? Tough to call, but Mats Zuccarello’s starting off cold. Zuccarello’s a season removed from a breakout offensive campaign (19 goals and 59 points in 77 games), and has been limited to one assist through five games thus far, with eight penalty minutes and a minus-4 rating.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday at Devils (7 p.m.), Saturday at Montreal (7 p.m.).
Record for the week: 1-0-1, three points, three games played. Total: 1-2-2, four points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Steady rise. The Flyers took a top-flight Ducks club to a shootout (a historical weak spot for them), and won their first game over Dallas 6-5 in overtime. A very sloppy win, as they entered the third period down 4-2 after leading 2-1, but nonetheless, their first win.
Who’s hot? Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux. The linemates both have seven points through their first five games, with Voracek currently enjoying a five-game point streak. Giroux scored the game-winner Saturday on an overtime power play, with Voracek assisting on the goal. Voracek also scored earlier in the game, with, naturally, a Giroux assist.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday at Chicago (8:30 p.m.), Wednesday at Penguins (8 p.m.), Saturday vs. Detroit (7 p.m.).
Record for the week: 0-0-2, two points, two games played. Total: 0-2-2, two points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Even. The Hurricanes have taken both opponents last week the distance, as they lost in shootouts both games.
Who’s hot? Chris Terry. In his third season with the Canes, Terry has four points in four games. He scored in both of last week’s games, as well as in the shootout against Buffalo. Additionally, he assisted on Zach Boychuk’s game-tying goal against the Sabres.
Who’s not? Cam Ward. Ward’s split a roughly even amount of time with Anton Khudobin in the cage, but his numbers (3.87 GAA, .846 SP, eight goals allowed) vary significantly from Khudobin’s (2.44 GAA, .923 SP, five goals allowed). If this continues, expect Khudobin to win the starting job soon.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday at Winnipeg (8 p.m.), Thursday at Calgary (9 p.m.), Friday at Edmonton (9:30 p.m.).
Follow Rob Riches on Twitter @Riches61.