Three Takes is a weekly feature that explores the world of the Columbus Blue Jackets and offers strong insights into the team and what to watch for. Have a strong take to share? Feel free to leave your comments below or tweet me anytime @THWMark.
Take One: Frank Seravalli Previews The Metro Division
The deeper we get in August, the closer we get to the training camps and the upcoming season. We all eagerly await what the new season will bring. With that in mind, it’s time to start previewing the season.
We begin with the Metropolitan Division. The New York Rangers are the defending division champions. They’re also the defending President’s Trophy champions. Nipping at their heels are teams like the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Other teams like the Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils all feel they can make noise, as well. So how is it all going to play out?
We discussed this and many other Metro topics with Frank Seravalli, formerly of the Philadelphia Daily News, and current TSN Senior Reporter. Does the Metro have a clear favorite? Can five teams make the Eastern Conference playoffs? Click on the link below to hear our entire conversation.
Take Two: Who Wins The Metro?
Any of five teams can win the Metro, but one team stands out to me. It’s the Washington Capitals.
The Capitals are the most complete team in the Metro. They have the right balance of offense, defense, and goaltending. They are on the verge of contending for a Stanley Cup. In fact, I believe this is the year the Capitals make the Stanley Cup Final.
They lost a couple of players in Mike Green and Eric Fehr, but added T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams to an excellent core of forwards. Braden Holtby is a top-five goaltender. It adds up to a very successful 2015-16 season for the Capitals.
Take Three: Who was the Metro’s Best Acquisition?
No question the best acquisition in the Metro, and in the league for that matter, was Phil Kessel to the Penguins. Adding that kind of offense to an already solid core of forwards is a scary thing for everyone else. Kessel easily has the potential to score 40 goals this season.
He also helps balance the rest of the lineup. All of a sudden, the Penguins have the look of being a true Stanley Cup contender again. If they get a decent performance from their blue line, they can make major noise this coming season.
Brandon Saad was also a great acquisition for the Metro. He now joins one of the game’s rising stars in Ryan Johansen on the top line of the Blue Jackets. This duo has an opportunity to dominate for many seasons to come.
Now it’s your turn. How does the Metro play out? What are your thoughts on our conversation with Seravalli? Leave your comments below.
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2022-23 season will mark nine seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager.