This Week In The NHL's Southeast Division: 3/18/2013
The Winnipeg Jets fly out of the danger zone to the top of the division while Florida's season of horror continues.
This recap covers the period from March 11th to March 17th.
Winnipeg Jets: The Jets (15-12-2) finished the week with a 3-1 record. Andrew Ladd leads the team in scoring with 29 points (14G/15A). Ondrej Pavelec started all four games this week. Winnipeg has scored 77 goals and allowed 85 so far this season.
3/14 @Winnipeg 3 New York Rangers 1
3/16 Winnipeg 5 @Toronto 4 (SO)
Trending: Up. The Jets finally got back to their winning ways at home with impressive victories over Toronto and the Rangers. Zach Bogosian's shootout winner in Toronto on Saturday gave Winnipeg the division lead. A tired looking Jets team concluded a busy week by getting beat 4-1 in Ottawa, ending a streak of six-straight games where the club picked up at least a point. Ondreji Pavelec continues to log heavy minutes in goal.
Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes (15-11-1) went 1-2 this week. Eric Staal is their leading scorer with 33 points (13G/20A). Justin Peters started two games this week while Dan Ellis took the tough loss at home against the Capitals. Carolina has scored 82 goals and given up 76.
Trending: Down slightly. The Hurricanes started the week off in fine fashion as Justin Peters blanked the Capitals 4-0. Unfortunately, the club faltered in the return match in Raleigh. Another disappointing loss in Tampa Bay cost Carolina the division lead which dropped them down to the eighth slot in the Eastern Conference. That's the bad news; the good news is the Hurricanes only trail Winnipeg by a single point and have two games in hand.
Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning (12-15-1) rebounded to go 2-1 this week. Steven Stamkos leads the team with 38 points (20G/18A). Anders Lindback made two starts this week while Mathieu Garon returned from injured reserve to post the big win against Carolina. Tampa Bay has scored 92 goals while allowing 84.
3/14 New York Islanders 2 @Tampa Bay 0
Trending: Up. The Lightning had a pretty good week to climb back into the outside of the playoff picture. The defense and goaltending seem to be on the right track but goals are still too hard to come by for most of the lineup. The shutout loss to the Islanders at home hurt but the Lightning finally fired on all cylinders against Carolina. Could that be the spark the club needs to return to its early season form?
Washington Capitals: The Capitals (12-15-1) went 2-2 this week. Mike Ribeiro leads the team in scoring with 31 points (10G/21A). Braden Holtby split the starts with Michal Neuvirth this week. Washington has scored 78 goals and allowed 85.
Trending: Steady. The Capitals delivered another week of .500 hockey but that's not going to be good enough if the team has any hope of making the playoffs. After an embarrassing loss to Carolina at home to start the week, Michal Neuvirth came off the shelf to deliver an upset win against the Hurricanes in Raleigh but got no goal support against Boston in a 4-1 loss. Braden Holtby returned to pick up the win against Buffalo which ended the week on a high note. The Capitals need a big winning streak and they need it fast.
Florida Panthers: The hapless Panthers (7-16-6) went 0-3 this week. Jonathan Huberdeau and Tomas Fleischmann share the team lead in points with 18. Veteran Scott Clemmensen made two starts this week. Florida has scored 70 goals and given up a league-worst 109.
3/16 New York Islanders 4 @Florida 3
Trending: Down. The Panthers continued their date with destiny this week, that destiny being a top-two pick in the upcoming Entry Draft. Florida put in a good effort, for the most part, in all three games but injuries, a lack of skill and poor goaltending have sapped this team of the ability to win games. The highlight of the week was a stirring third period rally against the Islanders which sadly ended up in yet another tough loss, this time on the eve of a five-game road trip. Yikes!