NHL Metropolitan: Penguins and Capitals Again?

Published on 28-Oct-2016 by Chips 10

NHL    NHL Daily Review

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NHL Metropolitan: Penguins and Capitals Again?

Four months after the Pittsburgh Penguins won their latest Stanley Cup, the same question remains.

Can they continue their hex on the Capitals?

It didn't look like it last year, until crunch time.

The Pens were out of playoff contention in December, made some moves, and caught fire in April and May before claiming the Cup in June.

Before this season even began, Sidney Crosby added a World Cup title to his résumé. Now, after another return from a bout of bellringusitis, along with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, Sid the Kid will try to make it back-to-back Cups.

The Pens started the season without goalie Matt Murray, who was injured in the World Cup, but they still have Marc-André Fleury, who tended the net when Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup in 2009.

Here's another oh yeah, that's right memory jogger: the Washington Capitals are the division's defending champions.


This winner-to-bridesmaid thing is getting kinda old in DC.

Alex Ovechkin & Co are certainly entertaining, but that doesn't always put rings on fingers. And what they coulda done with a Swedish hotshot who's now helping Nashville's chances gradually improve.

The rest of the Metropolitan Division is interesting, but the best any of them can hope for is a Cinderella season.

The New York Rangers tinkered with their team after a quick exit from last spring's playoffs. Henrik Lundqvist is still a world-class goalie, and the Rangers were surprise winners in the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes to go along with signing Pavel Buchnevich.

But the future isn't now, dudes, unless someone's got a bulk sale on glass slippers happening somewhere.

Feistiness is hard-coded into the Philadelphia Flyers' DNA, bless their little orange Russki-pounding souls.

Aggressive, yes. Dirty? C'mon.

The addition of Michal Neuvirth in goal will help cover some sins of aggression, and these dudes are well capable of messing with any opponent's style of play. But will it be enough to get anywhere?

Dunno, but it'll be fun watching.

There was a Rangers fan once who stated he loved to go to Islanders v Devils games so he could get in twice the hating in half the time.

It's good to have a plan.

Dude may have to hate extra hard when his Blueshirts face either one of them. The Isles will be competitive as long as John Tavares is on the team, and the Devils have a good goaltender in Corey Schneider.

What's more, New Jersey benefitted from Edmonton's convoluted strategy of stockpiling top picks and then trading them later. Taylor Hall is fitting in nicely in the early going.

As for Columbus and Carolina, it will be another year of no playoffs, even though the Blue Jackets will have coach John Tortorella for a full year. Whether that's good news or bad news is down to the beholder.

For their part, the Hurricanes have many young up and coming players, including rookies Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen.