The NHL playoffs are soon approaching which means division title races are coming down to the wire. Both divisions in the east have close competition for their titles, but I’m going to focus on the race for the Metro division title.

The Carolina Hurricanes have been favorites to win the division for a few months now but it’s getting closer than it’s been all season. Carolina, Pittsburgh, New York, and Washington are all within eight points of the division title with multiple games remaining against each other. Keep reading to find out how the fight for the division will play out.

Pittsburgh Penguins

metro division

The Penguins are on a roll right now and are looking to take the Metro Division crown.

The Penguins are only three points back of the Hurricanes right now and are playing top notch hockey at the moment. The Penguins are 7-2-1 in their last ten games and have won three straight, outscoring opponents 12-4 in those three games. 

Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel lead the team in points and goals respectively as they push towards the playoff. Pittsburgh has had less than optimal post-seasons since their last cup victory and are hoping to change that pattern this year.

The Penguins still have three games against the Rangers remaining and one against the Capitals. They also have two games against Colorado which is always a tough team to play. We’ll see if Pittsburgh can hold their own as the playoffs approach.

Carolina Hurricanes

Metro Division

Carolina Hurricanes Acquire Forward Max Domi from Blue Jackets

Despite being in first place, the Hurricanes have lost four of their last five games. They avoided giant trades at the deadline but did pick up forward Max Domi.

In their last five games they’ve lost to Washington, Pittsburgh, and New York. They also dropped a game to Tampa Bay which does not bode well for the playoffs. The Hurricanes need to step it back up or they’re going to get upset in the very first round.

Coach Rod Brind’Amour is a great leader and will get his guys back on the right track I’m sure. I expect Carolina to hold onto the division title, but it could slip out of their grasp in a few weeks.

New York Rangers

The Rangers have had a great season so far and have won 7 of their last 11 games. New York has been led this season by Chris Kreider in goals, but have received help from all around. Despite having 42 goals on the year Kreider is only fourth in points on the Rangers.Rangers Hockey Returns: Next Stop... Play In Round - Blueshirt Banter

Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and Adam Fox have all racked up 40+ assists on the year and are responsible for moving the puck around in the offensive zone. Goaltender Igor Shesterkin has been incredible as well this year. The Rangers will face Pittsburgh three times before the end of the regular season, so they will try to use those games to increase their standing in the division.

Washington Capitals

The Caps were 7-0-1 in their last eight before dropping two in a row to Dallas and then St. Louis. Despite a difficult start to 2022 the Capitals have rallied and are playing good hockey.

Alex Ovechkin has 40 goals on the year which tied him with Wayne Gretzky for the most 40 goal seasons of all time (12). Ovechkin’s dominance on the powerplay has returned which will be vital for Washington if they hope to win more than one playoff series.

Metro Division

Vitek Vanacek has been great over his last 10 games for the caps

Goaltending has been a slight issue for Washington this year but their goalies are starting to step up. In particular Vitek Vanecek has won 6 of his last 8 starts and has turned it around big time for the Caps.

Washington will play Carolina and Pittsburgh in the next two weeks, and then closes out the season against the Rangers on April 29th.

Prediction for Metro Division Title

I am expecting Carolina to win the division with Pittsburgh in second place. The race for third is where I believe it will get interesting, because the Caps have an opportunity to pass the Rangers.

The last game of the season will be a really fun one, especially if a playoff series is going to be decided based on the winner.

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