As the season begins to unravel, we decided to predict the finishing positions for each team in their division. We won’t go into great depth of the teams and we’d only review the biggest news. Because of the amount of great teams in the division, we have chosen to start with the Atlantic Division
Boston Bruins: Due to them currently rebuilding their team and having many veteran players like Zdeno Chara, Domenic Moore, John-Michael Liles, and David Backes, we predict that they finish 7th in their division. The Bruins are a very strong defensive team but with a very limited offense with the main scoring opportunities coming from Marchand, Bergeron, and Backes, they may not do as well as they’ve been known to be.
Buffalo Sabres: Due to the Sabres in a constant rebuild mode, we don’t see them finishing very well. More than likely, Buffalo will finish 8th in the division, they have a promising team, but with no core defense, and no star goaltending, that great future offense won’t be very useful. With Jack Eichel out on the IR, Buffalo’s chances of getting better may be postponed and due to that, when he returns, it may be too late for the Sabres to go anywhere except back to the golf course in April.
Detroit Red Wings: With the recent emergence of Petr Mrazek as the new starting goalie for the Red Wings, things have once again started picking up for the Red Wings. Mrazek began to shine in the middle of the season for the Wings, and because of that, the former starter Jimmy Howard has now become backup, which he hasn’t been since Chris Osgood was still between the pipes for Detroit. With the recent addition of Tomas Vanek, the Red Wings will be looking for Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Vanek to the lead the offensive charge while Mike Green defends the blue line. We predict the Red Wings will finish 2nd in their division.
Florida Panthers: Following the trade for Keith Yandle and the two phenomenal years of 26 year veteran Jaromir Jagr, The Panthers can possibly be a threat but with an ailing goalie with Roberto Luongo, and an average keeper in James Reimer, the Panthers will heavily rely on Jagr, Huberdeau, and Barkov with the core defense being Aaron Ekblad, Keith Yandle & Jason Demers. The Panthers will miss the playoffs and end up 6th in the Atlantic Division.
Montreal Canadiens: Following the blockbuster trade of the Habs darling P.K Subban for Nashville’s darling Shea Webber, news also shook Montreal as they announced that Price would miss the first few games. It’s not that much of a difference, but hopefully, with the trade of Subban, the team will be able to move forward and continue the success they’ve had in the past five years. We predict because of an average defense, good offense, and great goaltending, that they will finish 4th in their division.
Ottawa Senators: Following the acquisition of Derrick Brassard for Mike Zibanejad, the Senators finally have that second line center that they’ve been craving for since Jason Spezza left for Dallas. With Kyle Turris presumably playing first line center and having great chemistry with Hoffman, we don’t see the Senators changing that anytime soon. The Senators have a phenomenal first line defense with Erik Karlsson and Dion Phaneuf mending the blue line. With the great combo of Craig Anderson & Andrew Hammond, the Senators will finish behind Montreal in 5th in the division
Tampa Bay Lightning: Following many phenomenal postseason runs, Steven Stamkos’ contract ended, and many people, including myself, thought he was going to leave Tampa and go play elsewhere, but he stayed loyal and resigned to the Lightning. With the re-signing of the core offensive players and Ben Bishop, with his massive figure standing between those pipes, the Lightning will finish 1st in their division.
Toronto Maple Leafs: After the up and down postseason of the beloved Toronto Blue Jays, the Leafs are looking to exact revenge for their fellow Toronto team. With the draft pick of Auston Matthews and the great offense like, Joffrey Lupul, James Van Riemsdyk, William Nylander and Tyler Bozak, and the great defensive core of Matt Hunwick, Jake Gardiner and Morgan Reilly, and the great goalie rotation of Frederik Andersen & Jonas Enroth, the Maple Leafs will shockingly finish third in their division.