Can the Detroit Red Wings move up the standings in the Atlantic?
The Detroit Red Wings have a tough task at hand competing in the Atlantic. Yzerplan can be successful, and the Red Wings can still finish 7th in the division. This should not be a concern for this season, as the team still needs to figure out how to break the 90-point barrier to be a playoff contender. They will have the most room for improvement in the division, with each game having more meaning to gain distance in the standings. With additions like Debrincat, “Ghost”, and Compher, they have a chance to do so.
The Detroit Red Wings finished with their worst divisional record against any division last season, finishing 9-14-3, amounting to collecting only 40% of their possible points.
This is a tough division, maybe the toughest in the NHL in terms of teams meeting in the middle of the competition. In order to make the playoffs, the Red Wings need to flip the script and collect at least 60% of their divisional points. The difficult part of competing in this division is that the playoff teams from last year have points to give to the ascending teams, like Detroit, are Ottawa, Buffalo, and even Montreal.
While the Habs do not have a chance of making the playoffs, they can win 35-40 games this year with their acquisitions the past two seasons. Coach Marty St. Louis already shows he can get the best out of his players. One more year of experience will only make the team more competitive. Buffalo was a win away from securing a playoff spot. Tage Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin had breakout seasons last year. I only think with both players gaining confidence, we still have not seen their best. Ottawa ran out of steam in the last leg of the season.
Brady Tkaczuk will lead the charge, with Tim Stützle on the verge of being a superstar. Boston will not repeat their success with the retiring of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. With David Pastrnak, newly appointed captain Brad Marchand, and Charly McAvoy carrying the torch, a return to the playoffs is still in the cards. As much pain as it takes to admit it, I think the Maple Leafs will be the top of the division. The core four of the Matthews-Tavares-Marner-Nylander window together may be coming to an end. The group will be motivated to win the cup more than any other season. I also believe the “Battle of Florida” will take its toll on both the Lightning and the Panthers. Both teams start the season with key players either injured or returning from injury. With that being said, it’s possible that all eight teams finish the year with at least 40 wins.
- Toronto *
- Buffalo *
- Tampa *