I am having a Season Prediction Contest which you can enter if you fill out the form in an article a few scrolls down. Anyway this is my prediction for how the Atlantic Division will lineup. It’s the same as my prediction in the contest.
1. Florida Panthers: The Panthers will finish 1st in the Atlantic again. They rebuilt their blueline to make it better. With the acquisitions of Yandle, Demers and Pysyk while Campbell, Mitchell, Gudbranson and Kulikov depart make them scary at the defensive end. James Reimer will do well backing up Roberto Luongo. Speaking of Lu he should be ready to go after offseason hip surgery. We do not know who is going to be the opening night starter due to mixed reports. The Cats also have a ton of young stars up front and expect Nick Bjugstad to bounce back after a disappointing 2015-16 campaign. I don’t think however we will be #1 in the east.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning- The Bolts are bringing back Stamkos. They did a great job locking up core players like their cross state rivals the Florida Panthers. Expect them to have another fantastic season.
3. Carey Price oh wait my mistake the Montreal Canadiens- The Habs have added Panthers former backup goalie Al Montoya who should help them out if Price is injured. They brought in Radulov, Weber and Gallagher should be ready to go. I expect the Carey Price oh wait my mistake the Habs to have a bounce back season.
4. Detroit Red Wings- The Wings playoff streak is coming to an end but I expect this year to be their last year with that streak. They added Nielsen and Vanek but with Datsyuk gone and Zetterberg on decline I think the Wings will barely make it. (Wildcard 2)
5. Buffalo Sabres- I think the bottom five of the Atlantic will be weak and I think the Sabres are on the rise. Eichel should do better with help from Okposo. I think they will challenge Detroit but the Wings are just way better.
6. Boston Keep Collapsing at the End Bruins- The 4-5-6 will be so jam packed and I think the Bruins despite bringing in Backes don’t have it in them to get back to the postseason. They will be ok but will fall behind Buffalo in the standings.
7. Auston Matthews wait my mistake the Toronto Maple Leafs- The Leafs should improve with Andersen and Matthews now with them. Plus they have tons of young talent. I feel this year they will improve but the top six teams are so much better but in a couple of years with the Wings and Bruins falling they should have a legit shot at getting to the promised land. I just hope Auston Matthews wait the Toronto Maple Leafs don’t hammer themselves with high expectations.
8. Ottawa Senators- With these better seven teams there really is no place for the Senators but at the bottom. Brassard won’t make them better, Anderson is ok and they just can’t rely on Erik Karlsson all season. Plus there are a ton of tougher teams in this division which is why Ottawa will hold the cellar.
Thanks for reading. I will have more predictions out this week.