The 2019-20 NHL regular season is just past the 10-game mark. The new season is as competitive as ever. Around the Metropolitan Division, there are plenty of new faces, and notable names that are still near the top of the NHL scoring race.
What is going on with each team around the Metropolitan Division? Which players are lighting the lamp on a nightly basis? What are some other storylines around the Division?
Let’s dive in to the latest storylines around the Metropolitan Division:
The Hurricanes are quietly going about their business, as they rank third in the Metropolitan Division. Leading the way for the Hurricanes is defenseman Dougie Hamilton. He has recorded 6 goals and 12 points through 11 games.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
The Blue Jackets have struggled a little bit out of the gate, and they are just on the outside looking in. The Jackets are struggling to find offense, as they have only scored just 30 goals through 11 games. Forward Alexandre Texier (knee), who is expected to miss 2-4 weeks, and defenseman Ryan Murray (broken hand), who is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, were both placed on injured reserve.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
The Devils have been sentenced to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings in the early going. They are also struggling to find offense. The Devils have just 22 goals in 9 games. Rookie #1 overall pick Jack Hughes recorded 1 goal and 3 points against the Arizona Coyotes on October 25. Defenseman Connor Carrick (broken pinky) will miss 4-6 weeks.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
The Islanders are streaking and are one of the league’s hottest teams. The Islanders have won 7 in a row, and are just 3 points behind the Capitals for the top spot in the Division. Brock Nelson is leading all Islanders skaters with 10 points. Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg announced his retirement after a 15-season NHL career.
NEW YORK RANGERS
The Rangers are also struggling to gain traction. Through 9 games, Artemi Panarin has 9 points. #2 overall pick Kaapo Kakko has just 2 points in his first 9 games. Filip Chytil and Ryan Lindgren have been recalled from Hartford Wolf Pack.
Travis Konecny is having a great start to the new campaign. He has recorded 6 goals and 13 points in 10 games. In addition to Konecny, all eyes have been on Kevin Hayes, who inked a massive 7-year, $50 million deal over the summer. He has 7 points in his first 10 games.
No Phil Kessel or Evgeni Malkin, no problem. The Penguins are cruising and are currently in the Wild Card spot. Sidney Crosby has recorded 14 points in 12 games, and is among the top skaters in the NHL points race. The Penguins are a little banged up, as forward Alex Galchenyuk and defenseman Brian Dumoulin are both on injured reserve. The Penguins have sent forwards Adam Johnson and Joseph Blandisi back to WBS. Alex Galchenyuk is on track to play tomorrow and Evgeni Malkin said he is targeting a return to the lineup Saturday. Center Evgeni Malkin, who has missed the past 10 games (lower-body injury), is hoping to return on Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers. However, Malkin may be in some trouble off the ice as well, as it was revealed on Monday he was involved in a cryptocurrency investment scheme that backfired; he’s lost $4 million.
John Carlson is making an early case for the Norris Trophy. Carlson has recorded 21 points in 13 games for the Capitals. That ranks him among the top 5 in the NHL points race.
By: George Foussekis