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Which NHL teams have bullied the terrible Metropolitan Division most?

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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Realignment in the National Hockey League sought to restore geographic sanity to the league’s divisions, introduce a rivalry-based playoff format and maintain the parity that’s kept postseason races intense deep into the season for over 15 years.

But realignment has also given us the Metropolitan Division, which is as terrible in play as it is in name.

As of Thursday, Jan. 9, only the Pittsburgh Penguins had better than 55 points, with 65 points in 45 games; the Atlantic, Central and Pacific all had at least three teams. (The Pacific currently has four, in fact.)

Sonnets will be written one day about how the Western Conference has pummeled the East, with 12 of 14 teams at .500 or better against the East. But in particular, the West has been cruel to the poor, poor Metro-terrible Division.

There are 10 teams in the 14-team West that have two or fewer regulation losses to the Penguins, Flyers, Rangers, Capitals, Hurricanes, Devils, Blue Jackets and Islanders. Flip that script, and there are only three of 16 teams in the East that have four of fewer regulation losses to the Central Division, the weaker of the two out west.

So which teams have feasted on the Least of the East?

Heading into Thursday, here’s the NHL vs. the Meh-tro, and how these teams fare without the Metro-cushion.

Team Record vs. Metro Winning % vs. Metro Record vs. non-Metro Winning % vs. non-Metro
St. Louis Blues 6-1-0 .857 24-6-5 .757
Colorado Avalanche 6-1-0 .857 21-11-4 .639
Anaheim Ducks 8-1-2 .818 24-7-3 .750
Chicago Blackhawks
6-1-1 .813 23-7-8 .711
Los Angeles Kings 5-1-1 .786 21-12-4 .622
Pittsburgh Penguins 15-5-0 .750 17-8-1 .673
Montreal Canadiens 10-3-2 .733 15-12-3 .550
Vancouver Canucks 8-2-3 .731 15-11-6 .562
Boston Bruins 9-4-0 .692 19-9-2 .667
Winnipeg Jets 6-2-1 .684 13-20-4 .405
Detroit Red Wings 6-3-3 .625 13-11-7 .532
Washington Capitals 9-5-2 .625 11-11-4 .500
Calgary Flames 4-2-3 .611 11-20-3 .368
Philadelphia Flyers 8-5-2 .600 15-12-2 .552
Carolina Hurricanes 9-6-1 .594 9-10-8 .482
New Jersey Devils 9-6-3 .583 8-12-6 .423
Columbus Blue Jackets 9-7-1 .559 10-13-3 .442
Phoenix Coyotes 5-4-0 .555 16-8-9 .621
Ottawa Senators 6-5-1 .542 13-13-7 .500
Dallas Stars 2-2-0 .500 18-13-7 .566
Minnesota Wild 5-5-1 .500 18-12-4 .588
San Jose Sharks 2-2-1 .500 25-9-5 .705
Toronto Maple Leafs 6-6-2 .500 15-12-3 .550
Tampa Bay Lightning 5-6-1 .459 21-7-3 .725
Florida Panthers 3-4-2 .444 13-17-4 .441
New York Rangers 5-8-3 .406 17-12-0 .586
Buffalo Sabres 3-5-1 .388 9-21-3 .318
Edmonton Oilers 3-6-1 .350 12-16-5 .439
Nashville Predators 3-7-1 .318 16-12-5 .561
New York Islanders 3-10-3 .281 13-12-4 .517

Yes, 23 teams have a .500 or better record against the Metro. Ouch.

Among the teams that have benefited most from the Metropolitan’s crap-tastic season: The Calgary Flames, who would have just a .368 winning percentage against the rest of the league; the Colorado Avalanche, who are winning at a .857 clip vs. the Metro and .639 vs. everyone else; and the Washington Capitals, who are in a playoff spot thanks to their dominance of divisional foes but who are a .500 team elsewhere.

So, yeah, it’s pretty much the new Southeast.

The New York Islanders remain one of the most inexplicable stories in the NHL on a number of fronts, but their divisional record is at the forefront. Sure, they were 7-9-2 last season in the Atlantic, but three regulation wins in 16 games is the fewest within their own division for any NHL team outside of Edmonton.

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