Why Your Team Sucks: Metropolitan Division


The only division NBC really realizes exists: the Metropolitan Division!


2014-15 Season in Review:

Finished near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Nowhere close to a playoff spot, but not quite among the worst in the East. I can't name three interesting things that happened to them all year. I've been copy/pasting this every year for the last five years.

Your Head Coach:

Bill Peters. Isn't it kinda funny how the Metropolitan Division has so many generic, bland, inexperienced coaches that you forget exist?

Your Starting Goalie:

Depends on when you ask. It's only a matter of time before Eddie Lack takes the reins. It's inevitable. But for now, Carolina has invested $6.3 million in Cam Ward to be their starter.

Waiiiit a minute. $6.3 MILLION?! My god, that's $200,000 less than the Habs are paying Carey Price, and he just won a Hart Trophy for literally carrying an entire team on his back. Meanwhile, Ward has ranged from average to bad in his entire career, but is hilariously overrated because CONN SMYTHE PEDIGREE. They're basically throwing a pile of money at Ward because of a postseason that happened NINE YEARS AGO. If you wanted a goalie that hasn't been relevant since 2006, Ed Belfour would probably do it for half the price. At least he'd make the Canes relevant.

New Things That Suck:

Other than trading for Lack, not a whole lot. Drafted a potentially elite talent in Noah Hanifin, so it'll be pretty exciting to watch as he either gets concussed or languishes in mediocrity like everything good that goes to Raleigh.

Old Things That Still Suck:

This team is the NHL's answer to a cookie-cutter subdivision in the suburbs, where everything is the same bland structure without any kind of unique character. The team has been in Groundhog Day mode for the last five years. Their jersey looks like a Chinese knockoff of an NHL jersey you'd see in a third-rate video game that didn't get licensing rights. Their coach is forgettably boring, to the point that I often forget his name and what he looks like. Seriously. If you told me he looked like John Goodman, I'd believe you.

This team has always sucked, going back to their Hartford Whalers days. But the Whalers were at least fun losers. They had cool green jerseys and, on occasion, pants! They played Brass Bonanza when they scored! They played in a mall! Everyone enjoyed the Whalers; the Hurricanes are just a complete afterthought to the NHL. They have fat men tailgating and Ric Flair going "WOOOOO" a lot. That's about it. They're about as sterile as a hospital cupboard.

Hockey-wise, this team is still a mess. They're paying way too much money to the Staal brothers despite the fact they both peaked six years ago. Their most talented player in Jeff Skinner is perpetually broken. Their future backup goalie is among the highest paid in the game.


2014-15 Season in Review:

Everyone got really injured all the time, to the point where I'm pretty sure they filled out their roster with imaginary people. Things got so dark, they were forced to trade for David Clarkson because they apparently consider insurance a form of gambling. He made it three games before hurting himself which, hey, it was that or getting suspended for smacking a referee for touching someone's water bottle, I guess. The Jackets then followed up the Clarkson injury by predictably winning a lot of meaningless games.

Your Head Coach:

Todd Richards. Isn't it kinda funny how the Metropolitan Division has so many generic, bland, inexperienced coaches that you forget exist?

Your Starting Goalie:

Sergei Bobrovsky. He's a good goalie, so it's hard to blame him for being stuck behind this team. That said, he has a career .890 playoff SV% (and a .908 in 6 GP with Columbus), so maybe it's for the best he's stuck behind this team.

New Things That Suck:

Gave 6 years and $6 million to Brandon Saad! Jamie Benn got paid less to win the Art Ross last year. Meanwhile, Saad's career high in points is 52. He's also spent his entire career as a depth player on a team that won two Stanley Cups in his three years there. Now? He's joining a team that's basically him and Ryan Johansen depressingly passing pucks into an abyss. THAT'S where all your money is going, Ohio. No wonder politicians love you so much.

Also gave $5.5 million to newly-minted captain Nick Foligno. who is being paid to repeat last year's 17% shooting, which shouldn't be difficult at all. But really, Foligno as CAPTAIN? Is there a worse choice for that in the entire NHL?! Even Dion Phaneuf is capable of leadership through loud grunting and tune turning-up. Foligno looks like he just smiles awkwardly at everyone until they kinda look away and just decide to go out on the ice to get away from him.

Old Things That Still Suck:

Jackets fans fancy themselves as loveable losers; the NHL's underdog little brother that you can't help but root for. Ooh look at us WE HAVE A CANNON! Our Twitter account makes bad jokes like every other one! We're SO COOL DUDES AMIRITE! The reality of the situation is that nobody hates Columbus because nobody cares about Columbus. They're irrelevant. The only relevant thing they've ever done is enable the LA Kings, which is nothing at all to be proud of.

Also, don't forget that this fanbase is the reason idiot dudebros everywhere call it "THE Ohio State University," as if there's some impostor Buckeyes just hanging around somewhere. This has nothing to do with hockey, but I just find it really annoying.

In terms of on-ice product, this is still a team that has 2 playoff appearances and 0 series wins in 14 years. They're in the same expansion cohort as the Minnesota Wild, and *they're* the bad one! Bobrovsky can only mask so much the fact that this defence is still terrible. Without him, their goals against would be higher than the list of Jack Johnson's creditors.


2014-15 Season in Review:

The Devils were a bad team, but in a year where bad teams were actually entertaining, they couldn't even do that right. The Sabres tanked so comically overtly. The Leafs imploded. The Oilers went almost a month without winning a game. The Coyotes tried hard to lose every game from January onward.

The Devils, though? They were just there. Nowhere near a good team, never close to being in the playoff hunt, yet not really in the lottery conversation, either. They just stumbled along in their crapulence. Despite being the sixth-worst team in the league, they didn't even do anything noteworthy. If you did a 30 For 30 on this team, the intro would say: "What if I told you….that this team….played hockey in the 2014-15 season?" It would blow your mind.

Your Head Coach:

John Hynes. Isn't it kinda funny how the Metropolitan Division has so many generic, bland, inexperienced coaches that you forget exist? I actually had to look this up because I forgot they even hired anyone.

Anyway, Hynes replaces the coaching Cerebrus of Adam Oates, Scott Stevens, and Lou Lamoriello. This kinda disappoints me, in that I didn't even get a chance to use any "Two And A Half Men" jokes about their coaching situation. Now the opportunity is gone. Sometimes progress isn't progress at all.

Your Starting Goalie:

Cory Schneider, who really deserves better than this. Here's a visual analysis of the Devils' usage of Schneider last season:


You can probably expect Schneider to play in all 82 games, since he's the only goaltender the Devils have. Their backup's name is Keith Kincaid. Is that even real? That sounds like one of those names EA Sports randomly generates in a draft 10 years into GM Mode. I'm convinced he exists only on paper to satisfy NHL roster requirements.

New Things That Suck:

Ray Shero is in the house! Old Man Lamoriello has finally handed over the reins of the Devils to spend his retirement cantankerously uttering obscenities at members of the Toronto media.

In Shero, the Devils get someone who had an impressive management resume in Pittsburgh. His experience includes:

  • Winning a Stanley Cup by building a roster that really just consisted of lucking into two generational talents.
  • Spending all their Cap money on four players so that the team had the depth of a kiddie pool.
  • Using Jedi Mind Tricks to convince people that Marc-Andre Fleury is worth a lot of money.

Shero made a big splash with his new team in the offseason, acquiring….*scrolls frantically through notes*….huh, let's see. Kyle Palmieri. Gonna be a fun season when your prize acquisition is a guy who scored 29 points on a team that actually has offense.

Also, finally got rid of Dainius Zubrus, which briefly reminded you for a second that Dainius Zubrus was still in the NHL.

Old Things That Still Suck:

The Devils boast the Salvation Army of retreads you forgot existed. The entire lineup consists of typical "Oh yeeeah; THAT guy" players. This team is basically run like a sleazy used car dealership with old derelict vehicles:


Their highest paid player is Travis Zajac, who put up 25 points last year. He hasn't scored 20 goals since 2010. He's being paid $5.75 million until 2021 to be a third liner. Even David Clarkson is laughing at how bad that contract is before he falls down and takes a bad penalty in the process.

This roster has absolutely nothing of interest, and not even a single remotely intriguing or promising prospect in their system. They're boring and just kinda there. The Devils are the mayonnaise of hockey teams.


2014-15 Season in Review:

Won a lot of shootouts to clinch a playoff spot, which they don't do often. Didn't win a single playoff series, which they actually do quite often. Played their last ever game in a decrepit hole of an arena that smells like urine in the middle of nowhere so that they could move farther away from their fanbase to an area of NYC where no one cares about the Islanders or hockey, and an arena that was not designed to sustain the dimensions of an NHL rink.

Other than that, they didn't embarrass themselves, trade anyone of significant value, and nobody went to jail or designed a bad new logo, so it was a decent year for them.

Your Head Coach:

Jack Capuano, who looks like the police detective in every 80s cop movie ever. Even if you don't factor in that NOO YAWKA accent, Capuano is the perfect embodiment of Islanders hockey: equal parts "not that great" and "stuck in the 1980s."

If he's not a good coach, why has he stuck around so long? C'mon. These people survived Mike Milbury; after that, everyone's gonna look good in comparison. An aging cocker spaniel with no bladder control could sit behind the bench and piss on all the players and Isles fans would go "Eh; beats Milbury."

Your Starting Goalie:

Jaroslav Halak….still. There's a reason the Islanders had the most goals against of any playoff teams by a wide margin. Halak was an average .914, but if you look closely, most of his best games were late in the season when the team had sewn up a playoff spot in spite of him. And they're stuck with this guy for three more years. You can't even blame the Islanders for putting that much hope in Halak because, again, he's still better than whatever it was they had before him. This franchise has been so dismal, mediocrity seems like a substantive upgrade.

New Things That Suck:

Brooklyn! My god; have you seen this arena? It's terrible. The Islanders have struggled to find a long-term home in the New York metropolitan area, and this was the best they could do?! They'd have been better off freezing the parking lot of their old arena.

As for the roster, nothing. Nothing at all. Not a single substantive change to this team. They swapped out backup goalies and traded a defensive prospect to Edmonton; that's about it. Well, we finally almost didn't lose in the first round, guys! Let's stand pat! /dusts hands

Old Things That Still Suck:

You might notice a recurring theme. Despite this team still being average at best, optimism has never been higher. There's no real desire to change anything. Isles fans are as complacent as a married couple in sweatpants. "Well, we could add some pieces to this team to make it a contender......or we could just stay in and watch Netflix."

THAT's what sucks about them. This team has been a dumpster fire for so many years that their fans cling to any semblance of normalcy. The best case scenario for the team is not completely suck. The best case scenario for the arena is not completely fall apart. The best case scenario for the owner is to: (a) actually have money; and (b) try not to get incarcerated. These people have dealt with nothing but resounding failure for so long that the current state of affairs is good enough. It's like thinking Denny's is a world-class restaurant because you've been dumpster diving for years.


2014-15 Season in Review:

Were the best team in the regular season, so naturally, their course of action was to have as underwhelming a playoff run as possible. They beat up on a Penguins team that had its entire defence on the IR and STILL made it look as difficult as possible. They squeaked past the Capitals, only because the Capitals are allergic to advancing past the second round. Then in the conference final, Game 7, home ice, Stanley Cup Final appearance on the line, they respond by pretty much doing nothing at all and letting the Lightning walk all over them like Geishas. So, pretty much par for the course.

Your Head Coach:

Regular season champion Alain Vigneault. In his 9-year coaching career, AV boasts 8 playoff appearances, 2 Presidents Trophies, 2 Stanley Cup Final appearances, 3 conference final appearances, and…..ZERO Stanley Cup rings. He's basically a PG-13 Bruce Boudreau.

Your Starting Goalie:

Henrik Lundqvist. He's still good, but he's 33, and quite a few younger goalies are starting to pass him by. His best days will soon be behind him, and when that happens, the Rangers have absolutely no way of replacing him. They traded away their second best goalie. Now backing up The King is Antti Raanta, who has a career .912 in 39 NHL games on the Cup champion Blackhawks. Their best goaltending prospect put up average numbers in the ECHL and AHL last season.

New Things That Suck:

The Blueshirts followed up another "contending" season by decimating their top six. Marty St. Louis retired, presumably to spend more time with his family before demanding a trade to another family. They then decided not to re-sign RFA Carl Hagelin, instead trading him to Anaheim for Emerson Etem. They intend on replacing a guy who scored 17 goals last year with a guy who has never had that many POINTS in his career.

They extended Derek Stepan for $6.5 million a year, because any time you can spend salary cap money you don't have on a second liner that's never cracked 60 points, you gotta make that move!

Also, Glen Sather has stepped back into the shadows. After decimating the team's entire future into oblivion, he decided his work here was done.

Old Things That Still Suck:

After starting down the path of selling off everything to not win a Cup, the Rangers followed that up by….selling off even more of everything to not win a Cup. For one more year of Keith Yandle, the Rangers gave up a 1st round pick AND their only legitimately good prospect. This after trading two 1st rounders for a guy that retired after 1.5 years in a Rangers uniform. The Rangers gambled everything, won nothing, and can look forward to a bright future as "the New Jersey Devils, but like five years later."

Also, they've committed $5.5 million a year to Dan Girardi until he's 36. I'd call Girardi a pylon, but that's an insult to pylons, as those industrious orange cones actually prevent me from getting to my intended destination.


2014-15 Season in Review:

They didn't impale anyone with a stick or skate over someone's face, nor did their fans drunkenly punch a 12-year old kid, so overall, it was a pretty uneventful season.

Your Head Coach:


His name is actually Dave Hakstol. Isn't it kinda funny how the Metropolitan Division has so many generic, bland, inexperienced coaches that you forget exist?

Your Starting Goalie:

Steve Mason, who surprisingly decided not to suck anymore. Unfortunately, this is the Flyers, and it is mandated that every goalie must either eventually suck or die, so Mason's fate is sealed one way or another.

Backing him up will be Michal Neuvirth, who has the dubious distinction of being worse after leaving the 2014-15 Buffalo Sabres. Seems like a reliable situation.

New Things That Suck:

Flyers gave a hefty extension to Jakub Voracek of 8 years at $8.25M per season, which seems like sensible money; but, between that and extending Sean Couturier, it totally shouldn't screw up their already unstable cap situation next year. Other than that, they add Sam Gagner and midseason pickup Radko Gudas to their roster this year. That's it. Those are the big changes for the 12th place team in the Eastern Conference. CULTURE CHANGE!

Old Things That Still Suck:

Just look at this salary cap disaster. Just look at it. RJ Umberger costs $4.6M, while Vincent Lecavalier costs $4.5M. That's over $9 million spent on their fourth line! What's even worse is that they traded a better player with a better cap hit in Scott Hartnell to acquire Umberger, while they signed Lecavalier after he was bought out. Meanwhile, Andrew MacDonald is being paid $5 million until 2020 to shore up the Flyers blueline at being awful. The Flyers have at least three contracts that would be the worst contract on any other team not employing David Clarkson.

And the defence; my god, the defence. MacDonald sucks. Mark Streit is probably their best defenseman, but is 37 and nearing retiring to the Alps with a hefty Swiss bank account. Luke Schenn is somehow a top 4 blueliner. This defence is so bad, it made Michael Del Zotto look comparatively good. Del Zotto is better at disgusting porn stars than playing hockey.

And, the fans. These are the people that booed Santa Claus and an anti-cancer PSA! What's next: puppies? I cannot prove they have booed a puppy, but they cheered for Michael Vick for a number of years, so close enough. Look at these people. These are the kind of people you'd expect to find in the foothills of West Virginia, not in a major American city.

Rocky was overrated. Bite me.


2014-15 Season in Review:

The team that boasts two of the best players in hockey while playing in a weak division….*drumroll*…..barely scraped into the postseason on the LAST DAY because the Bruins hilariously imploded. Then, it was said they lost to the Rangers in five games, though I have yet to see any evidence of the Penguins actually showing up.

Backing into the playoffs and promptly getting beat down as if you were fighting Ronda Rousey would be great news if your team had a mediocre roster like, say, half the teams in this division. But, Pittsburgh has what 29 teams don't: the ability to play Crosby or Malkin for almost an entire game. Heck, you could even combine them and watch as they cycle the puck, whistling the Harlem Globetrotters theme as they screw with opposing defensemen. HE'S SPINNING THE PUCK ON HIS STICK; JUST TAKE IT ALREADY. How is a team with this talent this bad at hockey?

Of course, the funniest part of this was the rational response from the Pittsburgh media was that the only solution was to trade one of Crosby or Malkin. Because everyone knows when you have a great salad with no dressing, the obvious solution is to trade the salad to acquire dressing, then just, I unno, chug some balsamic vinaigrette?

Your Head Coach:

Mike Johnston. Isn't it kinda funny how the Metropolitan Division has so many generic, bland, inexperienced coaches that you forget exist?

Your Starting Goalie:

Marc-Andre Fleury, best known for making acrobatic plays like this one:


The team has committed to Fleury, who is signed to $5.75 million through 2019, in spite of the fact he's good for about two dozen blooper reel goals a year, usually in important postseason games. He has a Stanley Cup ring and played not awful that postseason, which baffles just about everybody. He's the best worst player at his position. He's basically Eli Manning without a full frontal lobotomy.

If Fleury falters, their backup is Jeff Zatkoff, which sounds more like a godawful European sex act than a backup goalie.

New Things That Suck:

Y'know, the Penguins offseason was actually not half bad. They traded very little to acquire Phil Kessel, who will dominate with either Crosby or Malkin and make this offense scary. They added significant depth down the middle in Nick Bonino and Eric Fehr. What could possibly go wrong?

Oh, right; everything that's been going wrong for the last five years, that's what.

The Penguins defence is already in shambles, but they let two of their best blueliners in Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff walk. Beyond Kris Letang and young talent, they're still giving minutes to the likes of Rob Scuderi and Ben Lovejoy. Yes, the same Lovejoy they traded actually promising talented player Simon Despres to get back.

Kessel should also enjoy a fresh start in Pittsburgh, who, unlike Toronto, definitely do not have a hackish media that blame everything on their star players.

Old Things That Still Suck:

At the end of the day, acquiring Kessel still only compounds the same problem the Penguins have had for years: they're now spending more than half their cap on four star players and an average goalie, leaving the remaining eighteen players on the roster to fight over the leftover table scraps. Beyond Kessel, their wingers are marginal and short-term. Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz are now 35+. David Perron has one year left on his deal. Beyond that, they have…huh….Beau Bennett, I guess, and…*looks at prospect list*…..the guy who does the things? Y'know? The things?

And who deserves that more than Penguins fans? It's not that they're bandwagoners; new fans are good for the game, etc. It's that they're entitled bandwagoners. They don't even pretend to support the team through the lean years, then proclaim they are God's gift to hockey. The self-proclaimed Mecca of hockey, but for the fact lucking into two generational talents saved them from bankruptcy and/or relocation. I'm not up on my theology, but I'm fairly certain Mecca was never in danger of going into foreclosure and being sold to the highest bidder.


Your 2014-15 Season:

Out by the second round. Again. Blew a 3-1 series lead. AGAIN. The Capitals are like that TV show that started out exciting building up for the big ending, but constantly leave off at the same cliffhanger over and over, all while getting worse and less interesting in the process. They're basically the How I Met Your Mother of sports teams.

Your Head Coach:

Barry Trotz, best known as his role for "Henchman #3" in many Bond films.

It really is a testament to the state of the Capitals front office that it took them five coaches to find someone who could actually coach Alex Ovechkin. Like, they kept treading through option after option. Finally, in comes Trotz, who says "Huh. He's good at making the goals. Let him do that. Bad defensively? Uh, have you considered possibly coaching him at how to fix that?" How did that take so long?! I'm certain there's someone in their front office sitting there with a broken computer because no one has asked them to try unplugging it and plugging it in again.

Your Starting Goalie:

Braden Holtby, who is probably the second coming of Christ. No; literally. Look at the guy.

The Caps did the smart thing and locked up Holtby long-term deal worth $6.1 million, which is decent for a guy of his skill calibre. What's confusing is that in one of the deepest drafts in recent history, they used their first round pick….on a goalie! It's only natural that when you have one of the best goalies in the league who is only 25, you waste an early draft pick on another goalie. The mystery goalie could be anything! IT COULD EVEN BE BRADEN HOLTBY!

New Things That Suck:

TJ Oshie is here! AMERRRRRRICA!

*eagles screeches faintly in the distance as strobe lights shoot out of the White House*

While the trade for Oshie was actually not half bad in terms of what the Capitals gave up, they've now acquired one of the most overrated players. Did you know Oshie has topped 20 goals and 60 points exactly once? No. No, you did not, because you are probably fanboying/fangirling over that stupid Olympic shootout goal from a team that didn't even medal in those Games.

The good news for Oshie is moving from the Blues to the Capitals means he gets an extra two weeks of hockey every year. Good for him.

Also, the team signed Zach Sill because, good god, are they really that desperate at centre? The Caps have now made a name for themselves in consigning every player the Penguins don't want anymore. They've become their rivals' hilariously overpriced Value Village.

What's Old That Still Sucks:

Holtby needs to be good, because that D- woof. They're into Year Two of Matt Niskanen, who is overpaid but does not entirely suck, and Brooks Orpik, who is overpaid and really sucks. Their depth beyond Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Johansson isn't much to write home about. They're kinda weak down the middle. Huh; if only they had the foresight to draft someone who could be a potential top six centre. Wait, they did? Whatever happened to that guy? Ah well; I'm sure it's not important.

Now that James Neal is out of the division, they've become the Metropolitan Division leaders in ruthlessly kneeing people. Thanks Tom Wilson!

Also, your goal song sucks. There's nothing cool or enjoyable about it. Every time you guys score, it sounds like an elementary school fire drill. OVECHKIN GOA- CRAP, OKAY EVERYONE OUT SINGLE FILE JUST LIKE WE PRACTICED.


Up next: get ready California; it's the Pacific Division.

This FanPost was posted by a fan, and it probably sucks and is dumb.

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