With so few of the division’s teams actually on the Atlantic, or even within an hour or two’s flight of the ocean, the name is a mystery. So is the number of teams that will see the second season. The top two are a gimmie, the next four are just a hairs breadth apart. With three teams boasting Norris trophy winners, and two Selke winners you’ve got a very tough division to climb the ladder in.
Good news: Never underestimate the impact of healthy, mobile, two way blueline. PK Subban, Markov, and company are more than a handful.
Bad news: Carey Price wore out last year from being played too much, this year they have the same backup goalie.
Good news: The team is returning the highly likeable Tyler Ennis, and is clearly intent on playing the next stars of the team as much as they can.
Bad news: The lingering trade rumors around goalie Ryan Miller and Tomas Vanek are likely to drag the team below even its modest talent levels.
Detroit Red Wings:
Good news: Datsyuk is still wearing the winged wheel, as are Zetterberg and Kronwall.
Bad news: The off season addition don’t put the team over the top.
Toronto Maple Leafs:
Good news, John Scott didn’t manage to kill Phil Kessel in the preseason, and Tyler Bozak is looking energized.
Bad news: Coaches who drive one good player out of town for unknowable reasons, probably won’t stop their.
Good news: A healthy Spezza with an angry Bobby Ryan is a recipe for magic.
Bad news: With the players moved for Bobby Ryan, they sacrificed some youth, and maybe a little depth.
Good news: They added a veteran goaltender in the person of Tim Thomas, and they picked up ownership that may just open the money tap.
Bad news: The Panthers don’t have much depth at any given position.
Tampa Bay Lightning:
Good news: Stamkos, Stamkos, Stamkos and some guy named Martin St Louis.
Bad news: Those are 100% of the teams valuable players.
Good news: Savvy off season moves make this team arguably better than the one they won the Stanley Cup with.
Bad news: The only position you can’t say that about is goaltending if only because they’re backup is clearly a backup.
Top three teams:
Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens.
The Bruins are clearly the cream of the crop, The Senators probably have the best goaltender in Craig Anderson when he’s healthy, and the Canadians have admirable depth at forward and defense. The Red Wings, and Leafs are within striking distance of an assured post season berth. The rest of the division would all require some form of hefty upgrade between now and Thanksgiving.