Detroit Red Wings: The 2021 NHL Metro Division Preview

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - MAY 21: Vincent Trocheck #16 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates with Andrei Svechnikov #37 after scoring a goal in the second period against the Nashville Predators in Game Three of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 21, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - MAY 21: Vincent Trocheck #16 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates with Andrei Svechnikov #37 after scoring a goal in the second period against the Nashville Predators in Game Three of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 21, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Penguins

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – MAY 26: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New York Islanders in Game Six of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on May 26, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – MAY 26: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New York Islanders in Game Six of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on May 26, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Record Last Season: 37-16-3

Playoff Result: Lost in the First Round

Expectations This Season: the Stanley Cup

Every year, people start to predict that this is the season that the Penguins will finally fall apart. And nearly every year they defy the odds and make the playoffs.

However, they’ve lost in the first round for three straight years now. And this season, they will miss their two best players for the first few weeks – Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. It’s going to be a struggle to push for the playoffs in such a competitive division with a rough record thy rough the first month. They could get behind early and never get back.

But we’ve been saying this for years now. So don’t doubt Pittsburgh. They still have plenty of talent and experience on their roster, so don’t count them out come playoff time. The Red Wings are improving and Pittsburgh seems to be the same, if not a little worse. Pittsburgh has had the success of late, but Detroit can start changing the narratives this season.

Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OH – MAY 07: Seth Jones #3 of the Columbus Blue Jackets controls the puck during the game against the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena on May 7, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. Detroit defeated Columbus
COLUMBUS, OH – MAY 07: Seth Jones #3 of the Columbus Blue Jackets controls the puck during the game against the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena on May 7, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. Detroit defeated Columbus /

Record Last Season: 18-26-12

Playoff Result: N/A

Expectations This Season: Rebuild

The Blue Jackets will almost certainly finish last in the division this season. After years of failing to make it over the hump in the playoffs, and some controversy surrounding coaching, the Jackets decided to make some major “adjustments”. Seth Jones was traded to Chicago and Cam Atkinson was traded to Philadelphia. While they acquired some draft capital, they made absolutely no moves to improve their team now. 

If the Red Wings have any easy wins in the Metro, it’s against the Jackets. They have a weak defensive core and all of their most important forwards had extremely disappointing seasons.

Washington Capitals

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 06: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals looks on during the first period of the preseason game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on October 06, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 06: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals looks on during the first period of the preseason game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on October 06, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Record Last Season: 36-15-5

Playoff Result: Lost in the First Round

Expectations This Season: the Stanley Cup

At this point, the Capitals are in the same boat as the Penguins. With an aging core and a few disappointing playoff losses, there isn’t a lot of hope for the future of the team. The policy is win now.

With Alexander Ovenchkin leading the group, it’s hard to entirely count this group out. And despite the age, they are still a very solid team without any major flaws. The Anthony Mantha trade could go a long way of he starts to contribute, as they could use another true top-six winger in their forward group. This off-season was silent and the team remains mostly the same, minus a few veteran defenseman.

The Detroit Red Wings are going to be a young team this year. Normally, that’s a good thing, but against an extremely experienced team like the Capitals, it might get ugly. Also, let’s not forget just how talented this team still is. They aren’t surging, but they haven’t gotten too much worse.

Next. Could Moritz Seider be Detroit's Next Great Defenseman?. dark