Are we overhyping the power of the Atlantic Division headed into this season?
After all the Stanley Cup champs came from the Western Conference, and two of those top Atlantic Division hockey clubs were done after the first round of last spring’s playoffs. But once again this season the Atlantic Division will be top-heavy with the Maple Leafs, Lightning and Bruins all expected to be top-5 teams in the NHL.
It will be entertaining once again to see all three teams slug it out over the course of the regular season, but there’s a nagging suspicion that this could be the year Toronto really takes off after learning their lessons over the last few seasons with a young group. Regardless it should be more of the same this year with those three power brokers in the Atlantic, old standbys like Washington and Pittsburgh in the Metro and an absolute free-for-all in the Western Conference where anything could happen.
Buckle up, hockey fans. Your season is here.
Now on to the power rankings: