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Penguins looking at a lot of new faces in their proposed division

November 23, 2020, 2:57 PM ET [15 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
There is no telling when the new NHL season will start back up. They want to start on January 1st, but that seems remarkably optimistic considering the United States is seeing the worst COVID spikes since the pandemic started. There has been good news about multiple vaccines so there may be light at the end of the tunnel. The season will likely be played. It still won’t look normal. The lack of a full crowd assures things won’t be normal. So will the proposed divisional alignment per ESPN

Canada: Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets

East: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals

Central: Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning

West: Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights

This is just a potential proposal, but if you’re the Penguins you have to like what you see. Moving to the Central Division seems to have its perks. Yes, the defending champs are in the division and those games will be tough. Also, there aren’t many other top caliber teams in there. Certainly, no teams the Penguins should be outclassed by. The Blues were a really good team, but they decided to pay Justin Faulk instead of Alex Pietrangelo. The Blackhawks are selling players like Saad and are in a rebuild. No word yet if the rumors are true all Penguins Blackhawks games will be played outdoors. Blue Jackets were decent last year, but not great. Detroit is still pretty bad even though they made smart short term deals over the summer they can deal away at the trade deadline. Florida is always a wild card and never seem to live up to their potential. Nashville is on the back end of their win now window, but don’t have a Crosby and Malkin. As I said, Tampa is Tampa and they’ll be great again. Overall not a bad division to be in.

Aside from the competitive aspects of the division it will be nice for fans to get a good look at some of these teams they normally only see twice a year. I assume the divisions will work like bubbles and the majority of game action will take place within the divisions. Columbus is the only Metropolitan team in here so a lot of this will be unique and it isn’t a bad thing.

What this means for a playoff format I have no clue. We’ll have to see how vaccines shake out and when the actual start date of this season is. We’ll have months to speculate because the NHL won’t be back on January 1 anyways.

Thanks for reading!
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