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Islanders: Metropolitan Division more challenging than ever

Oct 21, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Jakub Voracek (93) attempts a shot against New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) in the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gaelen Morse-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 21, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Jakub Voracek (93) attempts a shot against New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) in the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gaelen Morse-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Islanders Metropolitan Division has been one of the toughest divisions in the NHL for years. Since 2016-17, seven of the eight teams in the division have been above 0.500. Only the Devils are below that mark with a 0.474 points percentage.

This doesn’t count this season though, and that’s an important point because this season has been something else in the Metropolitan Division. Because every single team in the division is off to a good start.

New York Islanders Metropolitan Division is gauntlet-ier than usual

Before the Islanders took on the New Jersey Devils at the Rock, the entire eight-team Metropolitan Division was over 0.500. To put that number into perspective every other division in the NHL has at least two teams at or below five hundred. In the case of the Central, there are a shocking four teams below 0.500.

Here’s how the Metro looked before the Islanders game on Thursday (rankings by points percentage):

  1. Carolina: 0.909
  2. NY Rangers: 0.654
  3. Washington: 0.667
  4. Columbus: 0.700
  5. Philadelphia: 0.700
  6. New Jersey: 0.636
  7. NY Islanders: 0.600
  8. Pittsburgh: 0.545

Think about that for a second. The Islanders are seventh in the Metro with a 0.600 points percentage. Move them to the other three divisions and he’s where they’d rank:

  • Atlantic: Fourth (tied with Boston)
  • Central: Fourth
  • Pacific: Fifth

Some of the teams we all kind of expected to be close r to the bottom are having a heck of a start. Specifically Columbus. No one saw a 0.700 record through ten games. No one.

Now consider a few things here. Specifically when it comes to the bottom two teams. As you know, the Islanders haven’t played a home game yet. And in the NHL, that’s where teams do most of their winning. A 0.600 record purely from road games is pretty damn impressive.

Then you have the Penguins who are missing a number of players. Crosby, Malkin, Dumoulin, Pettersson, and Ruhwedel are currently out, but they’ve also been without Bryan Rust and Kris Letang for a while too. Getting all of those guys back on the ice will be help them immensely.

Of course, the season is still quite young – only 13% of games have been played – but the early results show that the Metropolitan Division is more guantlet-ier than ever.

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