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Watchability Rankings: Metropolitan Division

As we get ready for the NHL Season to kick off next week, we went around the horn to determine, who are the most watchable teams in each division. Without further ado, I present the watchability rankings for the Metropolitan Division.

Here is a team by team break down of off season moves and what we are saying about their watchability:

New York Rangers

Watchability Score: 7.3

Key Additions:

Key Subtractions:

What we are saying:

Darren: Kaapo Kakko is SO poised with the puck and smooth as an 18-year-old, that he alone will be worth the price of admission, even if this team ends up stinking. Oh, and they added the Breadman for good measure.
Andy: The addition of Panarin is exciting on its own, but Kaapo Kakko looked like a beast in preseason and he’ll be fun to watch in the regular season. The Rangers rebuild got a jolt this offseason and they’ll be fascinating to watch.
John: Sure the addition of Panarin and Kakko make this team instantly watchable, but I am interested to see how Adam Fox and Vitali Krvstov adjust to the NHL and contribute to this team.

New Jersey Devils

Watchability Score: 7.3

Key Additions:

Key Subtractions:

none

What we are saying:

Andy: The Devils struck gold at the draft with top pick Jack Hughes. He’s a dynamic player who looks ready to go. With Taylor Hall back and healthy, Nico Hischier a year older, and PK Subban on the blue line, New Jersey will be fun to watch.
Darren: I only marked the Rangers higher because I think Kakko is going to have a slightly better first season than Jack Hughes. Still, there’s SO much to like in Newark this season.
John: I’ve always been a Wayne Simmonds fan and Jack Hughes is going to be an elite player in this league. The Devils pre-season power play had Jack Hughes, Taylor Hall, Wayne Simmonds, PK Subban and Kyle Palmieri. That’s worth watching.

Carolina Hurricanes

Watchability Score: 7.0 

Key Additions:

Key Subtractions:

What we are saying:

Andy: Was last year’s surprise run real? Sebastian Aho is back but it will be interesting to see if the Hurricanes come back down to earth, and if they continue the Storm Surge.
Darren: These guys were super fun last year, and with some more shrewd additions by Don Waddell, Sebastian Aho and company are bordering on must watch.
John: These bunch of jerks were the youngest team in the playoffs last year and the minor league team was the AHL Calder Cup champions. The franchise is set up well and they play an entertaining style of hockey. Strong buy!

New York Islanders

Watchability Score: 4.7

Key Additions:

Key Subtractions:

What we are saying:

Andy: Mathew Barzal is always entertaining but the Islanders as a whole have been offensively challenged. They made it into the playoffs last year with defense and goaltending. They lose Robin Lehner and didn’t add much offense, do they take a step back?
Darren: The Isles may take a step back this year, but we all undersold them at the start of last season too. Though likely less exciting, the Barzal factor keeps them at a respectable level on the watchability rankings.
John: I may have burnt out on the Islanders the last couple years. Islanders are the consensus regression candidate but at least they have Barzal.

Philadelphia Flyers

Watchability Score: 4.0

Key Additions:

Key Subtractions:

(none)

What we are saying:

Andy: The Flyers seem like they have a lot of good pieces. Can Carter Hart play a full season at the level he played half a season last year? Will Nolan Patrick live up to his billing in junior? If they come through, Philly could get back into the postseason.
Darren: Lots of intrigue in Philly this season. Not many huge changes on the ice, aside from the addition of Kevin Hayes, but one has to wonder what kind of impact Alain Vigneault can have in his first season behind the Flyers’ bench. Oh, and obviously Carter Hart will be worth keeping tabs on.
John: The Flyers have some depth on defense that several analysts are projecting will leave a good defender exposed in the expansion draft. With so much that can change between now and the Seattle Expansion draft, that might not be a good enough reason to watch this team.

Washington Capitals

Watchability Score: 4.0

Key Additions:

(none)

Key Subtractions:

What we are saying:

Andy: Any team that features the best goal scorer in the league is worth watching. Alex Ovechkin is not only a good player, but is fun to watch. Can the Capitals get back to where they were two years ago?
Darren: Just like the Penguins, there’s actually a lot to like, but I personally am tired of watching these guys. I know, Ovechkin is one of the best players ever, but I feel like I’ve seen this team play more than any team in the league not called the Wild, and I’m just exhausted by it.
John: Capitals are still a playoff team but I’ve seen enough of them over the last couple years. I’ll end up watching them plenty come April.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Watchability Score: 3.7

Key Additions:

Key Subtractions:

What we are saying:

Andy: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin can still score but the Penguins aren’t the must watch team they used to be. Is it because we’ve seen this show before? Maybe, but they aren’t the draw they once were, despite still being a good team.
Darren: Obviously the Penguins still have great players that should be watched regularly, but I’m just kind of over these guys. Bring me the youth movement of other teams in the division!
John: I still love watching the detail of Sidney Crosby’s game. He is elite at so many parts of his game that I will often just watch him on the ice, even when he doesn’t have the puck. I’ve come to really appreciate his ability.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Watchability Score: 2.0

Key Additions:

Key Subtractions:

What we are saying:

Andy: When your coach is the most entertaining part of your team, it’s not the best sign. The Blue Jackets went for it all last year but couldn’t get any of their big free agents to stay. How will that affect them?
Darren: I love me some Torts, but man, this team lost too much talent in the off-season. The all-in approach of Jarmo Kekäläinen has not paid the dividends that I think he would have wanted. Was a second-round playoff exit worth it?
John: If I knew I could get a John Tortorella interview every game, I would probably bump up my watchability score but that isn’t guaranteed, hence my low score. Given another option, I can’t imagine picking the Blue Jackets game is something I would actively choose to watch.

John Barr
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