It seems like every year there is one division in the NHL that runs away from the rest. Each of the last two seasons, that division has been the Central, which sent five teams to the playoffs in 2014-15 and 2015-16. This year, the Metropolitan is top dog and it isn't close.
The Metro sports four of the best five records in the Eastern Conference and the four best goal differentials. The team with the worst record in the Metro, the New York Islanders, has a better goal differential than five teams in the Atlantic.
At the top of the Metro there are four teams within shouting distance of each other. The Washington Capitals, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers are close in record, regulation wins and goal differential.
But which of the four teams has the best case to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup finals?