It's been twelve years since the Devils, Rangers and Islanders have all made the postseason in the same year. In what's felt like a revolving door between championship contention, treading water and complete rebuild, fans have been waiting for a while to watch all three hit their strides together.
With plenty of new talent being transfused into the Newark/New York metropolitan area, that wait may finally be over.
Just one year removed from a postseason berth, the New Jersey Devils provided an unceremonious encore. A number of unfortunate turns spelled a lost season for New Jersey, as it dwelled in the cellar of the Metropolitan Division all year and finished with the third worst point total in the NHL.
Luck quickly turned for the Devils faithful, however. An unlikely win at the draft lottery brought a gift-wrapped Jack Hughes, and the team acquired defenseman P.K. Subban hours later, making Jersey postseason hopefuls again.
It was the same luck for the Rangers this year, as they chose to pawn off stars at the deadline in hopes of bringing in as much talent and draft capital as it could. New York countered big losses with the acquisitions of Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba, and -- as luck would have it -- won the second pick at the lottery.
They drafted elite Finnish winger Kappo Kaako, the best winger in the class, and signed Artemi Panarin in free agency, making the Rangers a potential postseason unit once again.
Poor seasons for the Devils and Rangers were spat upon by the Islanders, as they used elite goaltending and a deep defensive unit to finish second in the division. Calder Trophy winner Mat Barzal and captain Anders Lee led an offensive unit that held its own, as the team ended up losing in the conference semifinal. With most pieces back for another year, the Islanders are shaping up to be just as good -- if not better -- than a season ago.
Don't look now, but hockey in the Newark/New York area is about to get really, really fun.