Metropolitan Division: Things are not the way we thought they'd be at Christmas

The Metropolitan Division isn't looking exactly how we thought.
Philadelphia Flyers v Pittsburgh Penguins
Philadelphia Flyers v Pittsburgh Penguins / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

In 2022-23, the Metropolitan Division had some really good teams. The Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, and New York Rangers took the top three division spots. The New York Islanders came out of it as a wild-card team. 

None of those teams made it to the Stanley Cup Final, however, as the Hurricanes were defeated by the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

The fact that the Pittsburgh Penguins weren’t in the playoffs was a bit surprising. They ended what was the longest postseason streak in the NHL. The Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Washington Capitals were the other teams that missed out in this division. 

This year, New Jersey and Carolina were supposed to run the show with the Rangers, Islanders, and Penguins close behind. It hasn’t gone according to plan though as we are in the Christmas break with things looking a little strange. 

The Metropolitan Division is not going living up to expectations so far

The New York Rangers are leading the way with a remarkable 47 points. They have the best points percentage in the NHL. It isn’t surprising that they are good but it is surprising that they are this good. Can it keep up? 

The Columbus Blue Jackets are in last place with 28 points. That is good for the fourth-worst points percentage in the league. This is another disaster season for them but the pipeline is loaded with talent. 

The funny thing is that second place and seventh (second to last) place are separated by five points. Any one of these teams (Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes, and Pittsburgh Penguins) can end up making the playoffs in the end. 

A lot of people may assume that the Devils and Hurricanes are the likeliest of the bunch because of their recent past but you never know at this point. 

The Flyers have played well above expectations and John Tortorella is a big reason for that. He demands a lot from his players and they have responded well to his coaching. 

The Capitals are the league’s most confusing team. They aren’t very good on paper and they don’t have a lot of stats that support them yet they are right in the thick of things. The magic may run out but it hasn’t yet. 

That leaves the Islanders and Penguins who both have tons of experience in their respective dressing rooms. Each of these organizations believes that they should be right in the mix once the puck drops for the postseason. 

All in all, this division has failed to meet expectations but there is plenty of time left for every one of these teams to show how well they can play. Expect big things from a lot of them after Christmas and beyond. 

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