Predicting the NHL Eastern Conference

As we know hockey is almost here, we are now 17 days away from the first preseason game of the year. The NHL is coming in sooner than we know it! As we expected not much news has been circulating the NHL rumor mill as of late, besides the typical contract extension talks, contract signings, small trades, etc. Nothing major, because around this time teams are getting ready for training camp and most of their rosters are made already.

During this article we will go through some bold predications I have for the Western Conference, 1-2 sentences as to why I believe each team will land in their respected spot, going from the Metropolitan division to the Atlantic division.

Metropolitan division prediction…

crosby-body-image-1477506319First, the Metropolitan division, a division that has been run by the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins for several years now. In this regard not much will change, but what has changed are the 3,4,5 teams, the Devils have made their way into the conversation as a top contender, the Blue Jackets keep stringing together winning seasons with no playoff luck though and the Flyers, well continue to bounce back and forth.

  1. Pittsburgh Penguins (48-29-5)
  2. Washington Capitals (46-30-5)
  3. Columbus Blue Jackets (45-32-6)
  4. Philadelphia Flyers (40-33-9)
  5. New Jersey Devils (41-34-7)
  6. New York Rangers (35-35-12)
  7. New York Islanders (35-38-9)
  8. Carolina Hurricanes (33-39-10)

I see Pittsburgh winning the division because they had all the pieces last year to do it and even with Matt Murray out for a majority of the season they still managed to finish #2, the Capitals are going to have a target on their back this year and I don’t see them being as good with some key pieces leaving the team but still a top 8 NHL team. The Blue Jackets pull this one out this year and get a better playoff position than years past, they had very little change to their line up, but if Artem Panarin does go, well who knows. Devils and Flyers are interchangeable in my opinion I could see either or finishing 4,5 they both have the same rosters, besides Philly added JVR which is great but still they struggle with goaltending and defensive depth. Who cares about the 6,7,8…

Atlantic Division predictions…

Atlantic division, mainly will be controlled by the Bruins, Lightning and Maple Leafs this could arguably be one of the best divisions in hockey now with Tavares on the Leafs, the Bruins being so deep and balanced all through the line up plus the Lightning well we know what they bring. I would just keep an eye on the Sabres, and Panthers this year, don’t be surprised where you see these teams on my list…

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning (56-22-4) 
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs (51-24-7)
  3. Boston Bruins (48-27-7)
  4. Florida Panthers (46-29-7)
  5. Buffalo Sabres (35-35-12)
  6. Detroit Red Wings (34-38-10)
  7. Montreal Canadiens (30-40-12)
  8. Ottawa Senators (27-45-10) 
Flordia Panthers 2018-19 season preview
Can the Panthers make a push for the wild card this season?

Tampa Bay I just cannot slipping up this year, while the Bruins almost had them, they have now Ryan McDonagh and a solid top six, and top four for a full year. The Leafs I am going bold on but each year they continue to get better and the addition of John Tavares is only to going to spark these young guys and organization as a whole , bold but Toronto over Boston this year. Boston, degrades a little, came out the gate flying and it is going to be tough to be on that type of consistent play again. Florida, the addition of Mike Hoffman is huge, adding another scoring winger is big time, I think the Panthers with everything they did last year come out better and stay more consistent, wild card playoff spot… Buffalo, yup climbing! The Canadiens, Senators suck the Sabres only continue to improve their roster, it would be a shock to me if the Sabres finish below the Senators or Canadiens. Canadiens and Senators, well, lol. Red Wings are solid, young, just not there yet, solid sixth place finish is not bad for what they have, remember no Henrik Zetterberg this year either…

Early playoff outlook for the Eastern Conference…

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning 
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs 
  3. Pittsburgh Penguins 
  4. Boston Bruins 
  5. Washington Capitals 
  6. Florida Panthers 
  7. Columbus Blue Jackets 
  8. Philadelphia Flyers 
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