Following a 1-2-0 week, the Columbus Blue Jackets have fell from the top spot in the Metro Division.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have fallen from the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. After a two week run on top, the Jackets poor Thanksgiving week combined with a hot streak from the Capitals, have led to a drop to second place.
Washington on the other hand is on a five game winning streak which propelled them to the top spot in the division. They hold a one point advantage over the Jackets at the moment with both teams having played 23 games.
Both teams have matchups on Monday night though with the Caps squaring off with the third team in the Metro. That third place team is the surprise New York Islanders who continue to hang around with the Jackets and Caps despite their low preseason expectations. The Islanders have 26 points in 22 games.
The Islanders face their toughest slate of games though this week as they host the Caps tonight, travel to Boston and then host the Jackets on Saturday. This may be when the Islanders come back down to earth.
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Another surprise team, the New York Rangers, sits behind the Islanders in fourth place. Then the Hurricanes, Penguins, Flyers and Devils round out the rest of the Metro that is still very tight.
The division is only separated by eight points from top to bottom as the division’s elite have yet to distance themselves from the pack. Every other division in the NHL has at least 12 points separating their top team and their bottom team with two division’s spread over 15 points.
The Jackets only Metro matchup this week is the Saturday trip to Long Island to take on the Islanders. This game will take place at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY as they transition from Brooklyn back to the heart of Long Island.
It is a light week in terms of divisional matchups but one big game to keep an eye on is the Penguins traveling to Winnipeg on Tuesday night. The Pens are coming of a 4-2 win over the Jackets and look to continue the climb out of the bottom of not only the Metro Division, but the Eastern Conference. The Jets pose a huge test for the Pens who are without goaltender Matt Murray for the foreseeable future.
The Jackets have three winnable games this week and have a chance to re-take the top spot in the Metro. Let us know if you think they will in the comments below.