Islanders continue run on top: Metro Division recap week 3
We go around the Metro to look at the week that was. The Islanders continue their run atop the Metro standings, while the Hurricanes are making their case for Connor McDavid, as the league’s only remaining winless team.
New York Islanders
Record for the week: 2-1, four points. Total: 6-2-0, 12 points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Rise. The Isles won two games last week, and continue their onslaught of the Metropolitan Division standings. While they lost handily to Toronto to start their week, that appears to have been a slight hiccup, as they went on to beat Boston and Dallas.
Who’s hot? Frans Nielsen, for a third period hat trick in Saturday’s high-flying 7-5 win over Dallas. Backup goalie Chad Johnson also made 56 saves in two starts.
Who’s not? Jaroslav Halak, who was pulled after five goals in Tuesday’s loss against the Maple Leafs.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday vs. Winnipeg (7 p.m.), Thursday at Colorado (9 p.m.), Saturday at San Jose (10 p.m.).
New Jersey Devils
Record for the week: 1-0-2, four points. Total: 4-2-2, 10 points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Even. The Devils played three overtime games last week, losing to the Rangers in the five-minute stanza and then losing to Dallas in a shootout. The team then proceeded to beat Ottawa in OT, which snapped a four-game losing streak — a very emotional contest at Canadian Tire Centre.
Who’s hot? Ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr, who scored his first two goals of the season — including the game-winner against the Senators.
Who’s not? Captain Bryce Salvador, who is point-less with a team-high 14 penalty minutes and a minus-3 rating thus far.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday at Penguins (7 p.m.), Thursday vs. Winnipeg (7 p.m.), Saturday vs. Blue Jackets (7 p.m.).
Record for the week: 1-2, two points. Total: 4-2-2, 10 points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Fall. The Caps dropped two games on a brief Western Canada excursion, despite leading Edmonton and Vancouver. As a result, they were supplanted in the standings by the Devils.
Who’s hot? Nicklas Backstrom, who scored his 500th career point in Wednesday’s game — an assist on a John Carlson powerplay goal.
Who’s not? Alex Ovechkin, who’s been held without a point throughout the trip.
Schedule for the week: Wednesday vs. Detroit (7:30 p.m.), Saturday at Tampa Bay (7 p.m.), Sunday vs. Arizona (7 p.m.).
Record for the week: 1-1-1, three points. Total: 4-2-1, nine points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Fall. The Pens lost Wednesday to the Flyers (despite a tie game entering the third period), and blew a 3-1 third-period lead to Detroit a night later (during which the Red Wings scored twice with Jimmy Howard pulled). They bounced back with a shutout win over Nashville on Saturday.
Who’s hot? Blake Comeau, who produced three assists — two against the Red Wings. Sidney Crosby also recorded two points against the Preds. Evgeni Malkin could have had two goals in the week, but one was called back early in the Flyers game.
Who’s not? Tough call. Nobody was really ‘not’ for the week.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday vs. Devils (7 p.m.), Thursday vs. Los Angeles (7 p.m.), Saturday vs. Buffalo (7 p.m.).
Columbus Blue Jackets
Record for the week: 1-2, two points. Total: 4-4-0, eight points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Slight fall. Two losses in a week is never ideal for any team, but I’ll give the Jackets some slack, as both losses came against upper-echelon West clubs. With news that Nathan Horton’s back injury could threaten his career, and a strange, yet scary injury to Nick Foligno on Sunday (no word as of press time on how much, if any, time he’s expected to miss), the Jackets could begin to slide.
Who’s hot? Scott Hartnell, who scored his first goal against Anaheim and added his ninth assist of the season against the Kings.
Who’s not? Defense, and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, as the Jackets allowed a total of 13 goals over the course of the week.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday vs. Ottawa (7 p.m.), Friday vs. Toronto (7 p.m.), Saturday at New Jersey (7 p.m.).
Record for the week: 2-1, four points. Total: 3-3-2, eight points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Steady rise. After being shut out against Chicago, the Flyers beat the Penguins with a three-goal third period (improving their regular season record to 10-1-1 at the Consol Energy Center). They followed up with a 4-2 win over Detroit, despite being out-shot 37-17. If they could win Tuesday against the Kings, that would be called a winning streak — it’s happened before.
Who’s hot? Ray Emery. ‘Razor’ totaled 47 saves in two consecutive starts, including a 35-save gem against the Red Wings. Additionally, Michael Raffl scored thrice in the week, and Jakub Voracek recorded two two-assist games.
Who’s not? The defensive corps. With news that Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald will be out for at least four weeks, the already-battered Flyers blueline will be down two key cogs. Shayne Gostisbehere was called up for his first NHL action, and he finished with a minus-1 rating in 12:27 of ice time — yet showed promise — in his debut on Saturday. Ironically enough, Coburn and MacDonald are two defensemen that have drawn quite a bit of ire from Flyers fans — be careful what you wish for!
Schedule for the week: Tuesday vs. Los Angeles (7 p.m.), Thursday at Tampa Bay (7:30 p.m.), Saturday at Florida (7 p.m.).
New York Rangers
Record for the week: 1-1, two points. Total: 4-4-0, eight points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Even. While the Rangers rallied from a two-goal, third-period deficit against their Hudson River rivals, there wasn’t much they could do against Montreal, losing 3-1 in the teams’ first meeting since last year’s Eastern Conference final.
Who’s hot? Chris Kreider, for a two-point effort against the Devils. Anthony Duclair also recorded an assist in his return to his hometown, la Ville de Montréal, and was subsequently named the game’s third star in his return to the lineup.
Who’s not? Mats Zuccarello, whose season-opening struggles continue. He’s posted just one assist with a minus-5 rating thus far.
Schedule for the week: Monday vs. Minnesota (7 p.m.), Saturday vs. Winnipeg (7 p.m.).
Record for the week: 0-3, zero points. Total: 0-5-2, zero points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Fall. The Hurricanes still have yet to win a game this season, and allowed a combined 14 goals against the Jets, Flames and Oilers.
Who’s hot? Jiri Tlusty, with a two-point week — including a powerplay goal against the Jets. The Canes’ penalty kill also allowed one goal on 11 shorthanded attempts.
Who’s not? Defense, as not one pointman of the eight iced so far has posted a positive rating. See also: the 14 goals allowed.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday at Vancouver (10 p.m.), Saturday vs. Arizona (7 p.m.).
Follow Rob Riches on Twitter @Riches61.