Upcoming Match-ups

Flyers Remain +975 Longshots to Win Metro Despite 10-2-3 Record in Last 15 Games

Paul Attfield

by Paul Attfield in NHL Hockey

Updated Apr 2, 2020 · 1:34 PM PDT

TJ Oshie
TJ Oshie and the Washington Capitals are an average of -170 favorties to win the Metro Division. By Michael Miller (Wiki Commons>]
  • With a league-leading 47 points, the Washington Capitals are the favorites to win the Metropolitan Division, with odds of -130
  • The New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes possess the second- and third-best odds, at +275 and +775 respectively
  • The Philadelphia Flyers have used their recent 10-2-3 record over their last 15 games to overtake the Pittsburgh Penguins, and now have odds of +975 to win the division

Courtesy of their 21-4-5 start to the season, which has them sitting on top of the NHL with 47 points, the Washington Capitals are unsurprisingly the favorites to win the Metropolitan Division. Those odds have only gotten shorter of late, thanks mainly to the Caps’ 14-2-2 run over their last 16 games.

That rich vein of form, and particularly their 5-0-1 run over their last six contests, has seen the chances of the New York Islanders move from an average of +170 out to an average of +390 in the 2020 division odds.

2020 Metropolitan Division Odds

Team Odds
Washington Capitals -130
New York Islanders +275
Carolina Hurricanes +775
Philadelphia Flyers +975
Pittsburgh Penguins +1100
New York Rangers +5000
Columbus Blue Jackets +10000
New Jersey Devils +15000

Odds taken Dec. 5

A Caps Lock?

Two seasons removed from their lone Stanley Cup championship, Alexander Ovechkin’s team is looking every inch a Cup contender once again. In addition to having the most points, Washington has one of the most potent offenses in the NHL, too, with a league-leading 109 goals scored so far.

In addition to the always-dangerous Ovechkin, who has 20 goals so far, the club is benefiting from a breakout season from Jakub Vrana (14 goals). That’s on top of the otherworldly season being put forward by defenseman John Carlson, whose 11 goals and 42 points has him on course for about 115 points this season.

And with 268 high-danger chances generated at 5 on 5, the Capitals’ offensive explosion is no fluke, with that total good enough for joint-third in the NHL.

Island Breeze?

The Islanders are out to prove that last year’s second-place Metropolitan finish was no mere coincidence. Building on that 103-point campaign, New York is currently nine points back of the Caps, but has four games in hand.

And unlike Washington, the Islanders are doing it with stingy defense. Ably backed up by Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov, New York’s 63 goals against this season is the best mark in the NHL.

However, despite a 6-3-1 record over their last 10 games, the Isles have seen their division odds fall from an average of +170 two weeks ago to +390 now, though that’s more testament to Washington’s explosive form than anything else.

Hurricane Warning

Much like the Islanders, Carolina’s odds have been pushed out to an average of +840, mainly due to the surging Capitals. With 33 points from 28 games, the Hurricanes are very much on the outside looking in at what is appearing to be a two-horse division race at best.

Despite the efforts of Sebastian Aho – who is quietly putting together a nice season with 22 points so far – and the goaltending tandem of James Reimer and Petr Mrazek, who have conceded just 78 goals on the year, it would be asking an awful lot of last year’s Eastern Conference finalists to make a realistic run at the division crown.

Pennsylvania Push

The only other realistic contenders are the two teams from Pennysylvania: the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. Both face long odds to make a run – the Flyers have odds of +975 to win the Metropolitan, with the injury-riddled Penguins looking down the barrel of +1100 odds.

While the Flyers have benefited from their recent 10-2-3 run over their last 15 games to move a point back of the Islanders, Philadelphia is a middle-of-the-road team both in terms of goals scored and conceded.

The Penguins, meanwhile, have had one bad break after another. Former Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin missed the start of the season with a lower-body injury, and now captain Sidney Crosby is currently out with a sports hernia. On top of that, Patric Hornqvist and Brian Dumoulin are both out, while star defenseman Justin Schultz has missed the last seven games.

The lone bright spot has been in net, where Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry have formed an impressive goaltending partnership.

Pick: It’s hard to look past the Capitals (-130), as a threat to win the Metro, the Eastern Conference and the Stanley Cup itself.

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