NHL Metropolitan Division Odds: Will the Rangers Hold Off Carolina?

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr

With just over a third of the 2023-24 NHL season remaining, it's time to close in on who is going to take home each division in the league.

While some divisional races are wide open, the Metropolitan Division is down to two teams fighting for the crown. The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes have been at the top for most of this season, with the Rangers being number one since the start.

There's still time for the Hurricanes to come back and take their third straight division title. Can the Rangers hold on?

Let's dive into the Metropolitan Division odds via the NHL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

NHL Metropolitan Division Odds

Metropolitan Division Odds
New York Rangers-175
Carolina Hurricanes+140
New Jersey Devils+4000
Philadelphia Flyers+5000
Pittsburgh Penguins+9500
New York Islanders+16000

New York Rangers (-175)

The Metropolitan Division has been the Rangers' division to lose all season. Looking at the standings, there's a real chance that will happen. Based on the last 10 games, however, the Rangers are playing to make sure they do not.

Through 55 games, the Rangers have a 36-16-3 record with 75 points -- leading the Metropolitan by four points over the Carolina Hurricanes. Over their last 10, they're 8-1-1. They've powered themselves to that record by flashing their greatness on both ends of the ice -- but not to a consistent run like you'd hope from a team this talented.

New York has a 61.15 Corsi For per 60 minutes -- ranking just 15th in the NHL. They are scoring the 12th-most Goals For per 60 minutes (3.31), so there's some numbers being raised there. They're much more consistent in their own end as shown by the 10th-lowest Corsi Against per 60 minutes (58.49) and holding their opponents to 2.77 Goals per 60 minutes, which comes in as the eighth-lowest rate in the league.

If there's anything that will keep them from holding onto that top seed, it will be Igor Shesterkin.

The former Vezina Trophy winner is not the same guy. He's far from it, actually. Shesterkin has a 2.85 goals against average and a .901 save percentage -- both of which would be the lowest marks in his entire career. Where they have been saved is from Jonathan Quick, who has a 2.36 goals against average and .917 save percentage. It's unlikely Quick will ever take the number-one role from Shesterkin, but if they want the top seed, the Rangers may have to lean on him down the stretch.

The good news for anyone wanting to bet on the Rangers is that the Hurricanes don't have a better answer at goalie, and New York has proven it can get results despite Shesterkin's uneven play.

It's going to be close in this final stretch, and as we've seen in the Atlantic Division, no lead is safe.

Carolina Hurricanes (+140)

The Hurricanes have given the Rangers very little room for comfort, and it's why the odds are so close despite Carolina having been out of first for the majority of the campaign.

Carolina has made its mark by dominating on each end -- even with the aforementioned goalie woes. Offensively, the Hurricanes have the top Corsi For per 60 minutes in the NHL at 69.94 and are scoring 3.35 Goals For per 60 minutes, good for the ninth-most.

On the defensive side, they have the best Corsi Against per 60 minutes at the stellar rate of 46.83. They have the best expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at 2.56 but are letting up 2.79 actual goals. That's still a top-10 clip in the league but signals that the 'Canes have been a tad unlucky on D.

After 55 games, the Hurricanes have a 33-17-5 record and 71 points. To keep up with the red-hot Rangers, Carolina has gone 8-2-0 in their last 10 games. Being four points back from the Rangers puts them within striking distance of the lead.

Pyotr Kochetkov is their top option in net and will likely be the one leaned on in this closing stretch. If he can at least hold up his 2.46 goals against average and .905 save percentage, then Carolina has a very real chance to surpass New York and take a third straight division title.

In my eyes, the 'Canes are the ones worth a look at this +140 number.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.