NHL 2013-14 Previews: the Staal Brothers' 11-year-old cousin Oliver on the Metropolitan Division

Angry young man Oliver Staal takes us through the Metropolitan Division, where four of his cousins - Carolina's Eric, Jordan and Jared Staal, and the Rangers' Marc Staal - all play.

This season, to get a fresh perspective on the outlook of every NHL team, Lighthouse Hockey has reached out to those who really know the players better than anyone - the service people in their neighborhoods. This time, previewing the Metropolitan Division, is Oliver Staal, 11-year-old cousin of NHLers Eric, Jordan, Jared and Marc Staal.


Oliver Earl Staal

Cousin / Staal Brothers / Carolina Hurricanes/New York Rangers

4-10

70 pounds

Neebing, Ontario

December 23, 2002


Q: The Hurricanes missed the playoffs last year and return this season with essentially the same roster. Is this team good enough to compete in the new Metropolitan Division?

A: Aw crap. It's hockey season already? Go away.

Q: How will Carolina make up for the loss of key defenseman Joni Pitkanen for the entire season?

A: I said go away. Not everyone in this family cares about stupid hockey.

Q: Is a change in coaching what the New York Rangers needed to return to their conference-leading form from 2012? And is Alain Vigneault the right coach for this roster?

A: I don't know.

Q: Is this finally the year that the Flyers get stable goaltending? And is their defense capable of helping keep pucks out of the net?

A: I don't care!

Q: What changes will the Devils need to make on offense to compensate for the sudden retirement of All Star forward Ilya Kovalchuk?

A: Are you an idiot? I said I don't like hockey.

Q: Are the Columbus Blue Jackets a real threat in the division? Or will they only go as far as goalie Sergei Bobrovsky takes them?

A: What the hell are you even talking about?

Q: Can the Pittsburgh Penguins recover from last year's Conference Final sweep and are they still the favorite to win the East?

A: Jordan showed me around Pittsburgh once. It stinks. You stink!

Q: Has the championship window closed on the Washington Capitals? Do they need wholesale personnel changes or just more time to find the right pieces to surround Alex Ovechkin?

A: I'm calling the cops.

Q: Finally, the New York Islanders returned to the playoffs last season after a five year absence. What does this still-rebuilding club need to do to take the next step forward this year and establish a new place for itself among the more veteran and battle-tested teams in the Metropolitan Division?

A: If you don't leave me alone, I'm telling my mom you gave me beer.


Oliver's Projected Metro Division Standings

Leave me alone.
I said leave me ALONE!
Quit it!
Mom!
Arrggh! I hate hockey!


Previous Previews from the Neighborhood:

Pacific Division Preview by Ryan Getzlaf's Barber

Atlantic Division Preview by Daniel Alfredsson's Real Estate Agent

Central Division Preview by Barry Trotz's Chiropractor

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