Which NHL teams have bullied the terrible Metropolitan Division most?

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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