NHL Metropolitan Division Preview 2021-22

by Scott Rickenbach

Metropolitan Division 2021-22 Point Total Predictions

With last season being just 56 games, the first point total listed is the number of points the team earned in the standings last season but extrapolated over a normal 82 game season. Then the second total listed is my prediction range for this season. 

Carolina Hurricanes – 117 points last year. Predicting a range of mid to upper 90s this season. Now have veterans at the goaltending spot but a lot of things fell into place for Carolina in the regular season last year. Very strong club but drop off expected and now playing in tougher division after moving to the Central for last season only. 

Columbus Blue Jackets – 70 points last year. Predicting a range of mid to upper 70s this season. This team is better than it has shown on the ice and I feel strongly that the underachieving stops this season but also playing in a tougher division this season and points will be tough to come by. 

New Jersey Devils – 66 points last year. Predicting a range of low to mid 80s this season. This team should be much improved because I liked what I saw from this team as the season went on. The late season Devils were much better than the early season Devils and they’ll carry momentum here and be an improved team this season. 

New York Islanders – 104 points last year. Predicting a range of mid to upper 90s this season. Just need a little more offense as this team relies so heavily on Mathew Barzal in that regard. But great defense and solid goaltending make this one of toughest teams in division. 

New York Rangers – 88 points last year. Predicting a range of upper 80s to low 90s this season. Lafreniere is the key in his 2nd season as the Rangers improvement will go hand in hand with his improvement. Solid club but just not quite there yet and this division so tough. 

Philadelphia Flyers – 85 points last year. Predicting a range of upper 80s to low 90s this season. Carter Hart’s inconsistency in goal is a big concern with this club and they did have a 2nd season slump with their head coach after so  much success in his first season. Quality club but still missing something here unless Hart has a phenomenal season. 

Pittsburgh Penguins – 113 points last year. Predicting a range of low to mid 90s this season. Likely to be a drop-off here. Still questions in goal. Lost some solid contributors off the roster in off-season. Also, dealing with some early season injury issues already to guys like Malkin and Crosby which is always concerning. 

Washington Capitals – 113 points last year. Predicting a range of low to mid 90s this season. Getting Anthony Mantha was big for this club and they have the pieces in place to make another run at the cup one more time for Ovechkin. Trouble is there is so much competition in this division and Carolina back in it too after a season away in the Central Division. We’ll see some drop-off for Washington this season and note goalie Samsonov struggled as the season went on and this is also concerning. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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