Sunday Ranking: Penguin Slide
What a difference a single week can make. Last Sunday morning, the Pittsburgh Penguins sat First of all in the Metropolitan Division. Then, a disastrous four-fight losing streak wiped out their impressive start to the season and propelled them deep in the standings. What is the depth? We’ll take a look
Ouch, it’s not a pretty picture, but it shows how early it is still in the season to go from first place to seventh in just a few days. Things look bad for the Penguins now, but just as they didn’t win the Stanley Cup for starting the year with a 4-0-1 record, they’re not out of contention due to a losing streak. early losses. That said, they will obviously want to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible.
As we bounce through the division, let’s stop with the other teams:
philadelphia cream: A 1-1-1 week was good enough to make it to No. 1 this week. John Tortorella almost admitted the strong current record is a bit of a mirage while being outplayed 5v5, but they’ll take the good times while they last. Very bad news: center Sean Couturier has had another back operation and is out for at least 3-4 months.
carolina: The Hurricanes lost a 2-0 lead to Philadelphia last night before claiming the overtime victory. The New York Islanders’ 6-2 win over Carolina on Friday might be one of the most surprising results of all week. Not too often do Metro teams go 1-0-1 in a week against the ‘Canes.
New Jersey: The Devils lost at home to the Capitals on Monday in the key game we featured last week, but bounced back with two wins over Detroit and Colorado the rest of the week.
New York Islanders: It was a great week for the Islanders. It started off slow with a loss to Florida on Sunday, but NYI then turned its season around (for now at least) with a shutout win over arch-rivals Rangers on Wednesday. This was followed by a consecutive winning set on the weekend against Carolina and Colorado. Considering the caliber of the competition, those are three truly impressive wins for the Islands this week.
Washington: The Caps have been on the road all week, so going 2-1-0 isn’t bad. They bounced back from being shut out in Dallas on Thursday to turn around and return the favor to Nashville by shutting out the Preds last night.
New York Rangers: An 0-2-1 start to the week was saved last night with a win at Dallas. It wasn’t pretty for the Blueshirts, who lost to Columbus 5-1 last Sunday, then fell in a shootout to Colorado and were shut out by the Islanders. Much like the Penguins, it looks like the Rangers are still trying to find their footing this season.
Columbus: That surprising 5-1 victory over NYR was no sign of things to come for the Blue Jackets, who were outscored 10-3 combined by Arizona and Boston in two losses over the rest of the week. Has looked like a “one step forward, two steps back” type season so far at Columbus.
The week ahead
Also at the start of the season, there are only three inter-divisional games in the coming week, with many more teams seeing Western Conference teams arrive.
Columbus thinks they have the most interesting and memorable week, they get New Jersey today, then head to Finland to face Colorado in two games before returning to the United States.
It’s expected to be another tough week for Pittsburgh – they’re back at home in the dreaded “game opener after a long road trip” against Boston. The Bruins lead the NHL in wins (8) and points (16), with just one loss this year. Then the Pens have another straight game at Buffalo – who themselves have a winning record and will be rested. The Pens end the week seeing off the Kraken for the second straight Saturday to quickly end this playoff season.