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All About Parity in the NHL

In today’s sports world, there are too many leagues that are predictable these days.

For example, you know that in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors will end up in the Final and will more than likely win it. In the NFL, the New England Patriots always seem to find a way into the Super Bowl and in the MLB, the same teams are good every year.

This is not the case when it comes to the NHL. Every night is unpredictable and when it comes to picking a Cup winner, it usually ends up being a crapshoot.

This is especially the case this season. With the exception of a few clubs, almost every other team is in the thick of things in terms of holding a wild card or one of the top three spots in their respective division.

Let’s take a closer look at just how competitive the league has been this year.

Metropolitan Division

As of this writing, the Columbus Blue Jackets hold the top spot with 20 points. They haven’t been great this year and yet, have been just good enough to be first in the division.

With that said, there are a few teams in the division that are not far behind the division leader. In fact, the entire division is within striking distance.

The Philadelphia Flyers (19 points), New York Islanders (18 points), New York Rangers (18 points), Pittsburgh Penguins (17 points), Washington Capitals (17 points) and Carolina Hurricanes (17 points) can all take the division this season.

Atlantic Division

The Atlantic Division might end up being one of the best divisions in the league this year. The team in first, second, and third place are all within three points of each other.

As of this writing, the Tampa Bay Lightning are in the lead with 25 points, while the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston bruins are tied for second with 22 points each. The rest of the division isn’t exactly great with teams like the Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, and Florida Panthers all off to slow starts.

While I think the top three teams in this division will be the same for the whole year, one should not sleep on the Panthers yet. They are starting to catch fire and have more than a good enough roster to make the playoffs this year.

Central Division

The Central Division might be the best division in all of hockey. With teams like the Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, and Chicago Blackhawks in the division, it will definitely be very competitive the rest of the way.

Right now, the Predators, Wild, and Jets are absolutely crushing the division. The Predators lead the division and league with 26 points, while the Wild (24 points) and Jets (21 points) are right behind them.

Two others teams in the division that are playing well are the Stars (20 points) and Avalanche (19 points). They are both within 6 and 7 points, respectively.

This division is going to be a fight to the end, which should make for some exciting hockey come March and April.

Pacific Division

Speaking of being in a dog fight, that is the case this season in the Pacific Division.

As of this writing, the Vancouver Canucks are in first with 22 points). Right behind them, however, are the Calgary Flames (21 points), and San Jose Sharks (21 points).

With that said, one has to think that the Anaheim Ducks (17 points) will get better while the Edmonton Oilers (17 points), Arizona Coyotes (17 points) and Vegas Golden Knights (15 points) will all hang around.

Conclusion

It’s a great time to be a hockey fan, folks. Everything is unpredictable and with the league having so much parity year in and year out, your favorite team always has a chance to win the Cup.

*Photo: TomFulery.com

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