Same look as last week, top to bottom, with the Metro division. However, the Columbus Blue Jackets made a push last week and are now tied in 2nd place in the division with the Pittsburgh Penguins with 84 points. Washington still controls the division and the Eastern Conference with 91 points.
KEY ADDITIONS BEFORE THE TRADE DEADLINE
- The Washington Capitals added defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk from St. Louis for forward Zach Sanford, a first round pick. It’s a conditional pick to shore up their defense in front of Braden Holtby. His price tag was big but Washington needed another defenseman.
- The New York Rangers added defenseman Brendan Smith from the Red Wings for multiple draft picks to add to their shaky defense. The Rangers hope to overtake either the Pens or the Jackets, only two points back of both.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets and The New Jersey Devils swapped defensemen as Columbus sent Dalton Prout to New Jersey for Kyle Quincey. Columbus added a defenseman with playoff experience as they head toward the postseason.
- The Philadelphia Flyers added forward Valtteri Filppula from Tampa Bay, a fourth round and conditional draft pick for defenseman Mark Streit. The Flyers needed scoring from their lower lines. Adding Filppula can help if he gets back to form from a few years ago. A change of scenery may be helpful.
- Tampa Bay turned around and sent Mark Streit to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a fourth round pick.
- The Penguins also acquired another defenseman, Frank Corrado, from Toronto for Eric Fehr. Pittsburgh looked to get help defensively and on the power play. Corrado and Streit will contribute for them.
Not a big blockbuster trade deadline. Smaller trades were made throughout the division as the teams in the Metro looked to get help or dump contracts before the deadline.
Teams with a sure spot
- Washington Capitals – The Caps are in first place in the Eastern Conference and have the most points in the NHL. Keen to win another Presidents Trophy this year, they will head into the postseason with the best record.
- Columbus Blue Jackets – Columbus is tied for second place in the Metro and second in the Eastern Conference. They are making a push as they gained three points on the Pens since last week.
- Pittsburgh Penguins – The Penguins sit in second place in the Metro and Eastern Conference, tied with the Blue Jackets with 84 points, but they do have a game in hand.
- New York Rangers – Sit in fourth place in the Metro but are in the first wild card spot. Expect them to be a sure-fire playoff team and will maintain that wild card spot unless a breakdown happens. They are 13 points up on the last wild card team.
Teams Fighting for a Wild Card Spot
- New York Islanders – This team is on the outside looking in as the Islanders sit one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the last wild card spot. They have 68 points but do have a game in hand on the Leafs.
- Philadelphia Flyers – The Flyers need to have some teams drop points while they continue to pick up points. They sit four points out of the playoffs and three points behind the Islanders with 65 points.
Teams struggling to stay alive
- New Jersey Devils – The Devils have 62 points, seven points behind the Leafs and six points behind the Islanders in their division. They have had a rough year offensively and defensively. Barring a major hot streak, they don’t look playoff-bound this year.
- Carolina Hurricane – The Hurricanes occupy last place in the East with 59 points. This season has been rough for Carolina and they seem all but of out it for the playoffs. Without a huge win streak and a lot of teams collapsing, Carolina looks out of the playoffs.
THREE STARS OF THE WEEK FOR THE METRO DIVISION
- Braden Holtby G Washington Capitals- 3 wins in 3 starts. Allowed 3 goals on 95 shots with a .968 save percentage
- Evgeny Kuznetsov C Washington Capitals- 5 points, 3 goals and 2 assists in 4 games. Even plus/minus.
- David Savard D Columbus Blue Jackets- 4 points, 1 goal and 3 assists in 3 games. Plus/minus of 8.