Checking in on the Current NHL Division Standings


Image Via Wiki Commons

By Cole Bagley, Sports Editor


As sports return to their first season following the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHL is nearing its midway point of a 56-game schedule. With its redesigned schedule and new adjustments, the league has had to temporarily realign each division in order to adhere to the travel regulations set in place by Canada. With the realignments, only the top four teams in each division will make the playoffs and the following is an assessment of each division to the mid-way point of the season.

Central Division

Carolina Hurricanes (19-6-1), Tampa Bay Lightning (19-5-2), Florida Panthers (18-5-4), Chicago Blackhawks (14-10-5), Columbus Blue Jackets (11-12-6), Nashville Predators (11-16-1), Dallas Stars (8-9-6) and Detroit Red Wings (8-16-4)

The Carolina Hurricanes have been a team on the rise over the last few seasons and they currently sit at the top of the Central Division ahead of the reigning Stanley Cup Champion, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Panthers have also surprised everyone as they are third in the division and are closely followed by the Blackhawks, who, despite a lot of criticism, continue to be led by veterans Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Surprisingly, the Stanley Cup runner-up Dallas Stars are near the bottom of the division after their impressive run from last year. While half the season still remains, they will need to do a lot of work in order to catch the teams at the top. 

East Division

New York Islanders (18-6-4), Washington Capitals (17-6-4), Pittsburgh Penguins (17-9-1), Boston Bruins (14-7-4), Philadelphia Flyers (13-9-3), New York Rangers (11-12-3), New Jersey Devils (8-13-3) and Buffalo Sabres (6-16-4)

You might as well throw a ping pong ball with each team’s logo on it into a bowl, pick them out at random and the first four make the playoffs because there is no telling how this division is going to finish. Just about every single one of the top-five teams in the division has been in first place at some point in the season and the standings change on just about a daily occurrence. The Islanders, Capitals and Penguins have all been trending upwards as each has put together impressive win streaks. Meanwhile, the Flyers, Rangers and Devils have all been trending downwards, and then there’s the Sabres who are like the little brother that everyone beats up. Hang tight if your team is in this division, there’s no telling where they might finish, even if they put together a winning record.

West Division

Vegas Golden Knights (18-6-1), Minnesota Wild (16-8-1), St. Louis Blues (14-9-5), Colorado Avalanche (15-8-2), L.A. Kings (11-9-6), Arizona Coyotes (12-11-4), San Jose Sharks (11-11-3) and Anaheim Ducks (8-15-6)

Much like the East, the West Division could be a photo-finish as the top-four teams are very close in the standings. However, the Golden Knights have been able to stay atop the West thanks to the spectacular goaltending of veteran Marc-André Fleury, whose save percentage is currently .935 and with four shutouts. The Wild and Blues continue to stay in hot pursuit of the Golden Knights, and while many had the Avalanche as potential favorites to win it all, they currently sit in fourth. The bottom of the division doesn’t offer much resistance as none of the teams seem to be able to put together consistent victories.  

North Division

Toronto Maple Leafs (19-8-2), Edmonton Oilers (18-12-0), Winnipeg Jets (17-8-2), Montreal Canadiens (12-8-7), Calgary Flames (13-12-3), Vancouver Canucks (13-16-2) and Ottawa Senators (9-20-1)

It’s always hockey night in Canada as the North Division consists of all the Canadian teams in the league. Right now, the Maple Leafs currently sit in the No. 1 spot as John Tavares and the young sensation Auston Matthews lead the team to victory on a consistent basis. However, Edmonton is right on the Leafs’ tails as Connor McDavid leads the franchise with full force, recently reaching the 500-point career mark. Not far behind the Oilers, the Jets continue to trend upwards all the while the teams on the bottom struggle to put together wins on a consistent basis. 

Overall, each division is set up for an exciting finish as the league navigates a season unlike any other.


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