The realignment is poor, the name's not all that great, but it's the reality we must embrace. It's a strange one as the winless New Jersey Devils are actually not in last place. Let's take a look at where the Devils in the Metropolitan Division:
|Team||GP||W||L||OT||ROW||Pts||Last Week||Ptl. Pts|
Source: NHL.com - Links go to SBN blogs
The New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, and Philadelphia have their win and they have done nothing since. Well, that's not true in the case of the Rangers. They've given up a lot of goals. They are tied with Edmonton with 25 allowed, the most in the league. Either way, that's why they're behind the Devils, who at least pulled three points out of their five games.
Outside of Pittsburh and Carolina, the first full week was not kind to the Metropolitan. They were the only two teams to earn more than half of the available points last week. They are the only ones who could say they had a good start to the 2013-14 season. Everyone else was .500 (Columbus, though they only had two games) or less last week. It's early enough for these faults to be made up, though. The Penguins have been very good but they're not running away with anything just yet. In the short term, it'll be tricky for the Rangers and Flyers as they only have two games in the coming week. On that note, here's the schedule for the coming week for the Metropolitan Division.
|PIT||vs. EDM||@ PHI||vs. VAN|
|CAR||vs. PHX||vs. CHI||@ TOR||@ NYI|
|NYI||vs. BUF||vs. EDM||vs. CAR|
|CBJ||@ DET||@ MTL||@ WSH|
|NJD||@ WPG||@ OTT||vs. NYR|
|NYR||@ WSH||@ NJD|
|WSH||vs. EDM||vs. NYR||vs. CBJ|
|PHI||vs. VAN||vs. PIT|
Carolina is playing Phoenix right now so they could conceivably be tied with Pittsburgh in points by this evening. Much of the action in the division is taking place on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Some of that action will be within the division, too. The Caps and Rangers will face off on Wednesday in what I'm sure will be hyped up as a rivalry game when it really isn't. Both teams will definitely want this one given their early struggles. The Battle of Pennsylvania on Thursday could provide for an early point swing. Saturday has three such games as the Canes take on the Isles, the Jackets take on the Caps, and Our Favorite Team faces off with Our Hated Rivals. Four point swings for everyone!
Now that you know what the division is looking like and what's coming up ahead, what do you think will happen in the Metropolitan this week? Will the Penguins stay on top? Will the Canes catch them? Which of the four bottom teams will get some badly needed results and break into the upper half of the division? Please leave your answers and other thoughts about the division in the comments. Thank you for reading.