Flyers, Rangers trade places: Metro Division Recap – Week 7
Several Metro Division teams switched places in the standings over the course of the week. The Flyers and Rangers are the most notable, as the Flyers sat third this time last week while the Rangers were in sixth. Washington and New Jersey also swapped, while Columbus and Carolina swapped for last place. Let’s take a look at the week that was:
Record for the week: 2-1-0, four points. Total: 12-3-1, 25 points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Even. The Pens were blanked 5-0 by the Rangers, beat Toronto and narrowly beat the Rangers in a shootout.
Who’s hot? Pascal Dupuis. After being promoted to the first line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz for the first time all season, Dupuis responded with a two-goal night against the Maple Leafs.
Who’s not? No one in particular, but the team was lifeless in the first Rangers game. As an old adage says, you can’t win a game in the first period, but you can lose it. With three goals allowed to Mats Zuccarello, Martin St-Louis and Kevin Klein in a six-minute span, the Penguins easily lost that Tuesday matchup in the first period.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday at Montreal (7:30 p.m.), Friday vs. Islanders (7 p.m.), Saturday at Islanders (7 p.m.).
New York Islanders
Record for the week: 2-1-0, four points. Total: 11-6-0, 2 points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Rise. The Islanders solidified their second-place standing with a 6-0 whitewashing of Colorado and a 4-3 shootout win over Florida, before stumbling to Tampa Bay with a 5-2 loss.
Who’s hot? Johnny Boychuk. With assists in all three games last week, his total now stands at 10. Nikolay Kulemin additionally recorded a three-point week.
Who’s not? Third-period play, as the team blew a two-goal lead in the final 10 minutes of Friday’s matchup against the FlaCats. The Lightning also took control early in the third period Saturday, as Tyler Johnson scored his sixth of the season 1:39 into the stanza to give the Bolts a 4-2 lead.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday vs. Lightning (7 p.m.), Friday at Penguins (7 p.m.), Saturday vs. Penguins (7 p.m.).
New York Rangers
Record for the week: 1-0-2, four points. Total: 7-6-4, 18 points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Even. The Rangers blanked the Penguins 5-0, but lost a pair of shootouts to Colorado and the Penguins in a rematch.
Who’s hot? Henrik Lundqvist, with a pair of 30-plus save efforts against the league’s leader in goals-for per game (the Penguins, with 3.62 per game). In total, ‘King Henrik’ made 69 saves on 71 shots against the Pens, and made 26 saves against the Avs.
Who’s not? Power play. While Derick Brassard and Martin St-Louis each scored power-play tallies, the Rangers went 2-for-11 on the man-advantage throughout the week.
Schedule for the week: Monday vs. Tampa Bay (7 p.m.), Wednesday vs. Flyers (8 p.m.), Friday at Buffalo (7 p.m.), Sunday vs. Montreal (7 p.m.).
New Jersey Devils
Record for the week: 2-2-0, four points. Total: 8-8-2, 18 points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Even. The Devils were topsy-turvy throughout the week, losting 4-2 to Boston, beating Minnesota 3-1, shutting the Capitals out 1-0 and losing 3-2 to Colorado.
Who’s hot? Travis Zajac, with two goals and three points in the week. Mike Cammalleri also scored two goals, including the lone goal in Friday’s win over the Capitals. Cory Schneider was also admirable between the pipes in all four games, despite allowing a soft, potential goal-of-the-year candidate against Seth Griffith.
Who’s not? Captain Bryce Salvador, who is stuck with two points and a minus-5 rating thus far.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday at Winnipeg (8 p.m.), Friday at Edmonton (9:30 p.m.), Saturday at Calgary (10 p.m.).
Record for the week: 1-2-0, two points. Total: 7-7-3, 17 points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Fall. The Capitals beat the Blue Jackets 4-2, but lost to the Devils and St. Louis by scores of 1-0 and 4-1, respectively. Not an ideal start to a brief, three-game Western road swing.
Who’s hot? Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson, who each scored two goals against the Jackets. The team was also steady defensively in Friday’s game against the Devils, but couldn’t answer a Mike Cammalleri goal with 10:22 to go in the third period.
Who’s not? Offense. For a top-10 unit in goals for, the Capitals couldn’t muster much offense, scoring just one goal in the two-game Devils and Blues span.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday at Arizona (9 p.m.), Thursday at Colorado (9 p.m.), Saturday vs. Buffalo (7 p.m.).
Record for the week: 0-2-0, zero points. Total: 7-7-2, 16 points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Fall. The Flyers were idle through much of the week, before falling to the Blue Jackets and Montreal by scores of 4-3 and 6-3, respectively, in back-to-back action. Friday’s game, for what it’s worth, was Scott Hartnell’s return to Wells Fargo Center since being traded to the Blue Jackets in the offseason.
Who’s hot? Jakub Voracek, with sole possession of the league’s lead in points, with 26 (even drawing comparisons to Mark Recchi in the process). Voracek (more like Scoracek, right?) is currently riding a 10-game point streak, and has nine multi-point games this season.
Who’s not? Penalty kill, for allowing a staggering six goals over two games. The Flyers’ PK now sits at 29th in the league, at 71.2 percent, and only trailed by the Devils.
Schedule for the week: Wednesday at Rangers (8 p.m.), Thursday vs. Minnesota (7 p.m.), Saturday vs. Blue Jackets (7 p.m.).
Columbus Blue Jackets
Record for the week: 2-1-0, four points. Total: 6-10-1, 13 points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Rise. The Blue Jackets snapped a nine-game winless streak and stepped out of the Metro’s basement (by virtue of a tie-breaker) with a 4-3 win over the Flyers and a 2-1 win over San Jose.
Who’s hot? Several Jackets — Boone Jenner, James Wisniewski, Cam Atkinson and Ryan Johansen — all recorded at least two points throughout the week.
Who’s not? Penalty kill, which allowed three power-play goals on 10 attempts throughout the week.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday vs. Detroit (7 p.m.), Friday vs. Boston (7 p.m.), Saturday at Flyers (7 p.m.).
Record for the week: 1-3-0, two points. Total: 5-9-3, 13 points.
Are they on the rise or fall? Fall. The Hurricanes started the week strong with a 4-1 win over Calgary, but lost their next three to former division rival Winnipeg (3-1), Boston (2-1) and San Jose (1-0).
Who’s hot? Justin Faulk, with four points in the week. The ‘Canes scored six goals in the week, and Faulk has points on four of them.
Who’s not? Offense. As previously mentioned, they scored six goals all week. They did, however, put 45 shots on Sharks netminder Troy Grosenick in his NHL debut, and Grosenick masterfully turned away all of them.
Schedule for the week: Tuesday at Dallas (8:30 p.m.), Thursday at Los Angeles (10:30 p.m.), Saturday at Colorado (9 p.m.).
Follow Rob Riches on Twitter @Riches61.