Ok, so October wasn’t that spooky for the Columbus Blue Jackets or the Metropolitan Division. There was only one real surprise.
The month of October is wrapping up and the Metropolitan Division is playing out about how we expected. The Pittsburgh Penguins are atop the division in dominating fashion and the New York Rangers rebuild is in full effect. The Columbus Blue Jackets are right in the thick of it, sitting in third place at the time of this article.
But there is a big surprise in the standings. With a new owner, GM, coach, and victory celebration, the Carolina Hurricanes have shook things up in the Metro. The Canes through 11 games are 6-4-1 good for second place in the division. The surprise team has been led by Sebastian Aho who’s 16 points is good for 6th best in the league.
The Canes and Columbus Blue Jackets won’t play until the middle of November but both have huge issues with their special teams. The Canes are 30th in both penalty kill and power play, a stat that the Canes are going to have to fix if they expect to stay towards the top of the Metro Division.
The Washington Capitals are right behind the Jackets sitting in fourth place in the division. Much like the Pens, the Caps will be just fine and end up in the top three as they always do.
The New Jersey Devils sit in fifth place in the division with 11 points in eight games. goaltending has been an issue but Kyle Palmieri and the offense has helped the team early on. Palmieri is tied for seventh in the league with eight goals this year.
The bottom of the division has the two New York teams and a surprisingly bad Philadelphia Flyers team. The Flyers, once again, have absolutely no goaltending and are giving up the most goals per game in the league. Their penalty kill is also last in the league with the Flyers only killing 67% of their penalties.
The 4-7-0 Flyers find themselves in a tough spot early on in the year. It is early on in the season but it’s tough to make up ground in a league where loser points exist. The Flyers are on a four game road trip in California and Arizona this week and if they expect to turn their season around, they need results on a tough road trip.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are looking just fine sitting in third place in the division. They have only played two divisional games and have split those matchups so far. Their next Metropolitan Division matchup won’t come until November 9th when they look for some postseason revenge on the Washington Capitals.