How Metropolitan teams are trending
July, 31, 2013
By Craig Custance | ESPN Insider
Justin K. Aller/Getty ImagesWill Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz and the Penguins maintain success in the Metropolitan Division?Continuing our look at how teams are trending in the new divisions, we move to the new-look Metropolitan. Is this the NHL's toughest from top to bottom?
Metropolitan DivisionAverage team point total last season: 54.3
2012-13 playoff teams: 4
Notable strength: Star power -- Some of the NHL's biggest stars reside in the new Metropolitan Division, including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, John Tavares, Rick Nash, Alex Ovechkin, Martin Brodeur, Claude Giroux, Eric Staal and reigning Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky.
Points last season: 72
Key additions: Rob Scuderi, Matt D'Agostini
Key losses: Brenden Morrow, Matt Cooke, Jarome Iginla, Douglas Murray
Trending: Neutral -- The Penguins finished with 72 points in the regular season and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals before the ugly sweep at the hands of the Bruins. This roster will be expected to repeat that kind of success this season and has the talent to do it. The return of Scuderi will help stabilize a defense that was exposed at times in the postseason, and the reasonable offseason contracts signed by Malkin, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis are proof that players believe their best shot at winning is in Pittsburgh and are willing to take less than market value to stay. That's an important factor in the salary-cap era.