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
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!
|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