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Hotstove: Predicting The Metropolitan Division Standings

September 26, 2015, 10:53 AM ET [54 Comments]
HockeyBuzz Hotstove
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In this edition we share our predictions for the Metropolitan Division standings.

Todd Cordell: Pittsburgh Penguins

No team in the division can keep up with the Penguins offensively. They have a lot of firepower with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Kris Letang but also important is that they improved their depth with the additions of Nick Bonino, Matt Cullen and Eric Fehr, among others.

If they can keep relatively healthy I think they'll win this division somewhat comfortably.

Note: I think five teams will make the playoffs from the Metro

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Washington Capitals - Oshie and Williams will help + Kuznetsov, Burakovsky ready for big time
3. New York Rangers - They didn't lose much and this year they'll have a full season of Yandle
4. New York Islanders - They won 47 games last season & are returning (mostly) the same team
5. Columbus Blue Jackets - They won 42 games while losing 500+ to injury. Saad will help
6. Philadelphia Flyers - Dave Hakstol will get this team going in the right direction
7. Carolina Hurricanes - Lack is an upgrade in goal. If healthy they'll be competitive
8. New Jersey Devils - I've been impressed with Hynes & Shero but there's a lot of work to do

Ryan Wilson: Pittsburgh Penguins

The rich got richer. Already boasting the best 1-2 center punch in the league Pittsburgh went out and got a superstar winger to compliment one of them in Phil Kessel. It didn't end with Phil Kessel as Jim Rutherford filled out the Penguins forward depth appropriately for the first time in years. There is no dead weight among Pittsburgh's forward grouping anymore. Pittsburgh has a bonafide top pairing in Kris Letang and Olli Maatta but will need to figure out the rest. Pittsburgh is hedging its bets on Ian Cole and Derrick Pouliot playing in increased roles and it could work, it could also fail. Fact is every team in this division has their own set of shortcomings. Not all of them can be bailed out by the three headed monster of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel.

1. Pittsburgh Penguins (Best forward depth in the NHL?)
2. New York Islanders (One of the better possession teams last year)
3. Washington Capitals (Oshie and Williams are huge additions)
4. New York Rangers (Steady team with Henrik Lundqvist)
5. Columbus Blue Jackets (Defense corp. just not good enough)
6. Philadelphia Flyers (Need some more time before youth makes impact)
7. Carolina Hurricanes (Stuck between a rock and a hard place. Should trade Eric Staal and go full rebuild mode)
8. New Jersey Devils (Going for 30th place is in their best interest)

Tim Chiasson: Pittsburgh Penguins

They're the best team in the entire Conference. Winning the Metro Division should be assumed. This team is dangerous when healthy like no other team in the league. Staying healthy, there isn't a team in the Metro that can carry their gear.

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. New York Rangers
3. Columbus Blue Jackets
4. New York Islanders
5. Washington Capitals
6. Philadelphia Flyers
7. Carolina Hurricanes
8. New Jersey Devils

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