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Weekly Metropolitan Division Snapshot: 11/15 - 11/21

The New York Rangers just kept on winning and now they're the hottest thing in hockey, atop the Metropolitan Division. The New Jersey Devils pushed up, Columbus aren't totally scrubby, and the upcoming schedule in this week's division snapshot.

The Rangers may have taken contact, but they remain victors and on top of the division.
The Rangers may have taken contact, but they remain victors and on top of the division.
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

It may be getting chillier outside, but the ones atop Metropolitan Division are on fire. Unfortunately, that would be the New York Rangers.  They are the league's hottest team by far with an astonishing eight-game winning streak.  They're starting to pull away from rest of the division.  Fortunately, there's a lot that can happen to change that.  Divisions are rarely won in November.

Team GP W L OT ROW Pts. Last Week Ptl. Pts. Weeks Won
NYR 17 13 2 2 12 28 3-0-0 6 5
WSH 16 11 4 1 10 23 1-1-1 6 5
NJD 17 10 6 1 8 21 3-1-0 4 5
NYI 18 9 6 3 9 21 2-2-0 4 3
PIT 17 10 7 0 9 20 1-2-0 6 2
PHI 17 6 8 3 5 15 1-2-0 6 2
CAR 17 6 9 2 6 14 1-0-2 4 2
CBJ 18 6 12 0 6 12 2-1-0 6 2

Source: - Links go to SBN Blogs

The Rangers swept their week. Obviously. They wouldn't have an eight-game winning streak if they didn't.  They keep finding ways to win and they'll probably keep doing so given their upcoming schedule.  They could hit the double-digit mark.  May the Rangers faithful hope that their team doesn't crash as hard as they ascended.

Elsewhere in the division, how about those New Jersey Devils?  Surprising many, including myself, they had a difficult week and came out of it very well. They looked bad in their loss, they didn't look good in some of their wins, and then they straight up dominated Pittsburgh.  From a division-perspective, it's six out of eight and now they're in a playoff spot.  They're right behind the Washington Capitals, who had a mixed week of results.  Couldn't score against Detroit, scored a bunch in their next game, and then dropped one to Calgary beyond regulation.  Three out of six isn't bad, but it's not going to catch the Rangers anytime soon.  Both the Caps and Devils do have to keep an eye on the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins.  The Islanders came out well from California, though dropping that game to Boston meant a split week.  They are definitely in a position to move up with a good week, though. The Penguins may be frustrated as a team could get in their losses to Columbus and New Jersey. They didn't just lose, they got decisively downed by both squads. That said, they're not that far off.  And anyone doubting that they have quality just needs to remember their one win last week came against Montreal of all teams.

If those five teams are the "haves," the remaining three are the "have nots." As in, they have not succeeded enough to keep pace with them.  There's a lovely five point cushion between the fifth-place Pittsburgh Penguins and the sixth-place Philadelphia Flyers.  The Flyers nearly dropped a spot, but they managed to beat the Carolina Hurricanes beyond regulation last night.  That was their lone win and it was enough of a swing to hold onto sixth for a little while longer.  Since Carolina's loss came beyond regulation, they got a point. They had a win and another post-regulation loss earlier in the week, so the Hurricanes technically won their week with four points out of six.  That said, they had an opportunity to move up and they didn't fully take it.  Maybe next time?  Meanwhile, down at the very bottom, the Columbus Blue Jackets continue to pull up their bootstraps.  They had a legitimately successful week. They're only three points behind Carolina. Before you know it, they may be able to make their hideously awful start a thing of the past.  Ohio thanks you, John Tortorella save percentage regression.

Games within the division are fun. They feature rivalries and can provide swings within the division.  Too bad this coming week doesn't have any:

Team 11/15 11/16 11/17 11/18 11/19 11/20 11/21
WSH @ DET vs. DAL vs. COL
NYI vs. ARI vs. MTL
PIT vs. MIN vs. COL vs. SJS
PHI vs. LAK vs. SJS @ OTT
CAR vs. ANA vs. TOR
CBJ vs. STL @ OTT vs. NSH

It's a fairly light week, all things considered. No one is playing more than three games.  There are only two back-to-back sets among all eight teams.  Everyone gets at least two days off.   That said, the games still count.  Let's run them down from the top-down.

The Rangers get to defend their winning streak against Toronto tonight before hitting up the state of Florida for the end of this week.  As funny as it would be, I think that streak is more in danger in the Sunshine State than in Manhattan this week.  Meanwhile, the Capitals get a re-match in Detroit before going home for Dallas and Colorado. They could do better, do worse, or do about the same this week as in last week.  They're not easy games but the Caps aren't free at all.  We'll see.

The Devils, Islanders, and Hurricanes get to enjoy short weeks.  The Brooklynites will have it easier if only for being at home for both of them.  They'll get Arizona, who are no doormats on the road, and then a strong Montreal team. The Hurricanes will have a similar schedule, only they'll be hosting Anaheim and Toronto. On paper, an more favorable pair than Arizona-Montreal.   New Jersey will be embarking on their annual trip through Western Canada this week.   They'll go to Calgary and Edmonton in this week, with it ending next Sunday in Vancouver.  As poor as the two Albertan teams are in the standings, those road games can get weird. Look alive, Devils.

As for the two Pennsylvanian teams, they have only one road game between them and their total of six games. The Penguins will try to get back on track and get their morale in order by hosting Minnesota, Colorado, and then San Jose. Not easy, but not terribly difficult.  The Flyers will have it a bit harder as they'll get Los Angeles, San Jose before Pittsburgh, and then travel up to Ottawa.  I'll leave it to you to decide who has it harder. Lastly, Columbus gets a tough week with St. Louis, a road game in Ottawa, and then Nashville the very next night after Ottawa.  May they continue to keep chopping, if only for making the bottom of the division be more interesting.

That was the week that was in the Metropolitan and the week ahead for all eight teams.  Will the Rangers finally fall? Can the Devils keep it up and stay in a playoff picture?  Who will start making a charge up the standings first, the Islanders or the Penguins?  Will the Flyers ward off the Canes for another week, and will the Blue Jackets crash that party?  Please leave your answers and other thoughts about the division, what happened, and what can happen in the comments. Thank you for reading.