The current standings in the Metropolitan Division tell a story. Overall, nobody in this division is playing well. That is not to say they are playing terribly, just not at a high level at this point.
How can you tell? Among the eight teams, no one has won more than six times in their past 10 games and only the New York Islanders has managed to win less than four times (3) in the same time span.
Here is another telling element of mediocrity. Washington leads the division with 57 points, which is the lowest among the four divisions. The Capitals have a scoring differential of just +12 and here is how that compares to the other division leaders.
Tampa Bay +49
However, there are no awful clubs and because of this the spread in points from first to last place is just 11. That leaves the door open for any team to win five in a row or eight of nine and make a dramatic move in the standings. So how come this has not happened and what is the problem?