Well, I tried coming in with a “Hot Take” for the Central Division last week, but quite honestly the Central is WAY too top heavy with teams like St. Louis, Winnipeg and Smashville. Also, don’t forget my take on the Pacific. However, we are now here on the east coast… MY coast, and boy I have some hot takes for the Eastern Conference.

Before we take a look at the Atlantic let’s first look at the Metro where the Stanley Cup has been for the past 3 years. However I’m thinking it exits the division this year and we won’t see another back-to-back winner. The Capitals while having an unbelievable run, had an even more unbelievable Cup celebration that treated us to the sights and sounds of Ovi doing keg stands and swimming drunk in random fountains across D.C. But I’m predicting they will be going back to their old ways and not make it past the second round of the playoffs. Moving over to the other “powerhouse” in the Metro, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now, as a Bruins fan I loathe, not hate, but LOATHE this team. Simply because “Super Mario” excused the Matt Cooke hit on Savard 8 years ago. So to put it real blunt, I’m thinking this team starts to nose dive with the aging vets that it has on the top lines and also Matt Murray in net (outside of the playoffs) hasn’t shown he can perform at a high level of 50+ games a year.

 

 

Now, let’s move on to my “unpopular opinion”. If my takes on the Caps and Pens weren’t unpopular enough, well let’s just say my take on the Flames were tepid at best. As I type this I am predicting the Philadelphia Flyers to win the Metro Division. Why? Because of Gritty! That drugged-out Muppets outcast has put the city on his back, taken social media by storm, and has made everyone either love him or hate him.

But in all seriousness, the Flyers have positioned themselves to make a strong case for the Metro this season. They have had the most consistent points scorer in the NHL outside of McDavid and that player is Giroux. Last year, Giroux quietly put up 102 points and has continues to be overlooked as one of the leagues best players. Outside of Giroux you have players like Nolan Patrick, Voracek and Couturier on the offensive side and Gostisbehere and Provorov on the defensive end. The only real weakness the team has is in net with Elliot to take the majority of starts. With all of these components I truly can see a deep run for the Flyers this season.

 

 

New Jersey, Columbus and Carolina are going to fight it out for the middle of the pack award and I’m thinking New Jersey takes a nice leap forward this season after the Hart winning  performance of Taylor Hall (nice trade Chiarelli). Carolina has potential to make waves but I don’t think they will do that this year. As for Columbus, with what appears to be two disgruntled Russians in Panarin and Bobrovsky I just don’t see the team doing very well. That brings us to the bottom where it’ll be a cat fight between the two New York teams. I honestly think the Islanders will fair better than the Rags this season, but either way these two teams have a long way to go before they see the playoffs again.

All in all the Metro could provide us as fans a nice little season here full of entertainment and potentially some interesting playoff matchups. Let me know what you guys think in the comments, cause I’m sure this will be much like my Flames take, and I’ll be considered crazy.

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