NHL

Metropolitan Division: the Weak Link in the NHL

10/20/13 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   122 respect

When the NHL decided to realign the divisions, last season, many were hoping that it would lead to better hockey, increased competition within each division and maybe even better postseason match-ups.

Sep 16, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers center Brandon Mashinter (40) throws a right hand to the head of New Jersey Devils right wing Cam Janssen (45) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY SportsWhile it is still too early to pass judgment on the new divisions, one thing that is clear is that the Eastern Conference’s Metropolitan Division is horrible. Yes, this is the same division that has the likes of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, and New York Rangers but nevertheless, this division has performed well below expectations thus far.

For starters, with the exception of the Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes (barely), no one in this division seems to like winning hockey games. While the Penguins have already won 7 games and the Hurricanes have four, every other team has not won more than three games yet.

The New Jersey Devils won their first (you read that right) game last night with a 4-0 shutout win over the Rangers. Speaking of the Rangers, they have won just two games this season along with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Teams like the Capitals and New York Islanders each have three wins. Given the way both teams played last season, one would figure that they would have more by now.

The team we have yet to mention is the Philadelphia Flyers. Right now, the Flyers have just one win and are in second to last place in the entire league.

When looking at the teams in the division, one would think that most of these teams would be a lot better. The Islanders were coming off a year in which they made the postseason for the first time since 2007 and looked like they were going to be even better this season.

The Capitals won the Southeast Division last year and the Blue Jackets just missed making the postseason for only the second time in franchise history. Everyone expected the Rangers to get off to a fast start with a new coach and new offensive system while no one thought the Flyers would be even worse than they were last season.

While some could make the argument that only four of the division’s eight teams made the playoffs last year, others could argue that the Flyers had an off year, the Blue Jackets just missed getting in and the Hurricanes needed some time to get used to their roster.

This season, however, excuses should get thrown out the window. The league is back to a full-season and all 30 teams need to deal with the cards they have been dealt.

While no one expected the Metropolitan Division to be bad this season, it is clear that based on everything above, they are the worst division in the entire league.
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10/21/13   |   ML31   |   3671 respect

Division strength changes from year to year to year.  My issue with the new set up is more geographic.  At least they aren't using incorrect cardinal directions as names of the two eastern division...  But I do not know why they insist on clinging to that worthless concept of East and West.  With 30 teams I think the best option is to have 3 10 team divisions.  The three division winners are seeds 1, 2 and 3.  The other 13 slots are just the teams with the most points.  Simple.