2017-2018 NHL Division Ranking Analysis
Of the four NHL divisions, we take a look at where all the teams stand and how they compare to last year’s regular season finale. We have some unexpected teams in unexpected positions. Why are they there and will they have a chance to stay there or recover?
Last year, the Oilers were second in their division. They are now sitting at the bottom of their division with a much lower record than expected. Also, their star player, Connor McDavid, is playing and scoring far less than expected. The Pacific division is off to a dry start to its seasons, except for the new team, the Vegas Golden Knights. There has been no outstanding game shown by the other teams. The Pacific division has been shaken compared to last year and the expected results have not yet been produced. There are plenty of games left to play and all it takes is a couple of teams on a hot streak to flip the ranks in the Pacific division. One team he hoped to see better participation in his season was the Arizona Coyotes. They had a very difficult year last season and now they don’t see much improvement. The only team one win short of them right now is the Buffalo Sabers. The Coyotes are 7-18-5 and the Sabers are 6-17-4. They are fighting to not be in last place in the entire NHL. It’s hard to see these teams struggle, I don’t like to see professional teams so uncoordinated. I hope your seasons start to produce successes for the players and the club as a whole!
On a different note, the Blackhawks were first in the central division last year and are now second from last this year. The Blackhawks have a lot of skilled players, but they seem to be underperforming. Another team in the central division that isn’t doing as well as it was at the end of last season is the Minnesota Wild. The Blackhawks and Wild finished in the top two spots in the central division last year, but they aren’t playing like they did at the end of the regular season. Right now, these two teams are sitting in two of the bottom three spots. The team that is last in the central division is Avalanche. They had a horrible season last year and although they are doing much better now, they are still the team that was expected to be in last place. One team that was quiet last year and in first place in the central division is the Winnipeg Jets. Right now the Blues and Jets are vying for the top spot and it should be interesting to see what the product of increased competition will produce.
Next to the Central Division is the Metropolitan Division. The biggest change we’ve seen in this division so far is the amazing value the New Jersey Devils have shown. They had a poor season last year coming in last place and now sit in second place in the Metropolitan division just two games away from being tied for first place. The other teams in the division aren’t too far behind what was expected. The Pittsburgh Penguins have fared mediocre for a Stanley Cup team and have had some big losses to teams with big deficits. Usually, the Stanley Cup team presents a challenge to the rest of the league, but there hasn’t been anything extraordinary yet.
Finally, we have the Atlantic division that has not surprised us too much. There are two teams in this division that have been a lot of fun to watch. These two teams are ranked first and second in the division and have great players. The Lightning are in first place with the Maple Leafs trailing by one game in the win bracket but 3 points to tie. In Lightning, you have Stamkos and Kucherov, who are the dynamic duo. These two players have had great passes, plays and goals that you find yourself watching over and over again. On the Maple Leafs, you have Auston Matthews, who is 20 years old and has had an incredible season. He is a great contender for points and has incredible goals. These top two teams plus the Vegas Golden Knights are some of the best teams to watch right now. The last teams of the Atlantic division are not very surprised. The only team getting a surprise for being low in the standings is the Ottawa Senators, who are second from last but were second last year. They have had an unlucky season, but they have the ability to make a strong comeback. The Sabers and Panthers are the bottom of this division and haven’t been top contenders for a while.