Is the NHL Metropolitan Division Really This Bad?

October 29th, 2013 by Lyle Fitzsimmons Leave a reply »

When the NHL sounded the trumpets and rolled out a new alignment scheme in the summertime, the most off-key note came when one of its Eastern Conference divisions was branded with the name “Metropolitan.”

Still, while experts held their noses at the announcement, few probably expected the stench to linger so noticeably through the regular season’s initial four weeks.

Though the eight-team consortium includes perennial conference playoff participants from Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and Washington, the collective start that the group has gotten off to—or at least the part of the group not located in Pittsburgh—is far more reminiscent of the league’s traditional dregs.

The Penguins reached the four-week pole atop the Metropolitan with eight wins in 12 games and firm positions among the league’s best in goals-against average (2.42, sixth) five-on-five goal differential (1.32, eighth), shots per game (32.7, fourth) and fewest shots allowed (25.5, third).

Assuming Sidney Crosby stays healthy and Marc-Andre ...

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