Pittsburgh Penguins Atop Metro Division Power Rankings For Week 1


The National Hockey League dropped the puck on a new season last week, so let’s take a look at the Pittsburgh Penguins and their division rivals in our City of Champions Metro Division Power Rankings.

1) Pittsburgh Penguins: The Black and Gold got off to a 2-0-0 start by scoring 11 goals and giving up six against the Anaheim Ducks at home and against the Toronto Maple Leafs on the road.

Sidney Crosby was named the Third Star of the Week on Monday by the National Hockey League. The captain posted two goals and one assist in the 6-4 victory over Anaheim and added one goal and two assists in the 5-2 win over Toronto.

Meanwhile, Evgeni Malkin, while still working himself back into shape, has still contributed one goal and three assists for four points in two games. The rest of the league will need to look out when he is fully healthy again.

2) Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets have put smiles on their fans faces as they are 2-0-0 in the early going this season.

Right wing Cam Atkinson is the early leader in that club house with three goals. Not far behind, teammate Artem Anisimov, at center, has two goals in two games. Meanwhile, leading in assists is left wing Scott Hartnell with three.

3) New Jersey Devils: The Boys from Jersey have put up 11 goals in two games, matching the Penguins, and have opened the season 2-0-0.

Right wing Michael Ryder has one goal and three assists for four points while left wing Mike Cammalleri has three goals in two games. Goaltender Cory Schneider has 68 saves and a 2.50 goals-against average in 120 minutes of action.

4) New York Islanders: Like Pittsburgh, Columbus, and New Jersey, the Isles have skated to a 2-0-0 beginning. They have scored on half of their power play opportunities, making the Islanders’ power play unit the best in the NHL after the first week of play.

Center Brock Nelson has three goals and three assists for six points while defenseman Johnny Boychuk and center John Tavares each have five points. Both have one goal apiece and four assists in two games.

5) Washington Capitals: Under new head coach Barry Trotz, the Caps have allowed just two goals so far this season. They lost to Montreal 2-1 in a shoot-out in their home opener on Thursday. while turning around to shut out the Bruins 4-0 on Saturday in Boston.

Alex Ovechkin had two goals in the victory over Boston while Braden Holtby has 53 saves between the pipes in two contests.

6) New York Rangers: After their first three games, the Blue Shirts are 1-2-0 this season. Henrik Lundqvist, usually reliable in goal, surrendered eight goals in the two contests in which he appeared.

The Rangers won their season opener 3-2 over the St. Louis Blues, but then lost their next two in a row, 5-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets and 6-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

7) Philadelphia Flyers: The Broad Street Bullies are off to a 0-2-1 start under coach Craig Berube. Boston put up a deuce on Philly in the season opener last Wednesday and claimed 2-1 victory, while the Devils downed the Flyers 6-4 at the Wells Fargo Center. Montreal won in a shootout 4-3 over Philadelphia on Saturday.

Left wing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare has moved up to the first line of Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds while Vincent Lecavalier is out of the lineup for the next two weeks with an injured left foot. Between the pipes, Steve Mason has allowed seven goals on 58 shots, so it may be time to hand the starting netminder chores over to Ray Emery.

8) Carolina Hurricanes: The 0-2-0 start could be a harbinger of more to come for the Canes. They dropped their season opener last Friday at home to the New York Islanders 5-3, also losing the rematch on Saturday at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum 4-3.

The penalty kill unit has given up four power play goals in eight attempts in two contests under new head coach Bill Peters.

This week, they recalled left wing Zach Boychuk to take the roster spot of left wing Jeff Skinner, who was place on injured reserve with a concussion. This on top of the fact that Jordan Staal is out for three to four months with a broken leg, while older brother Eric Staal went down with an upper-body injury during Saturday’s loss.

Now, let’s see where Week 2 of the regular season takes us. The Black and Gold are back in action on Thursday at Consol Energy Center as they take on the Dallas Stars at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.