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Lightning Round: A look at the Atlantic Division after two weeks of play

Who are the surprises

NHL: OCT 22 Islanders at Lightning Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Is it too early to be scoreboard watching? Of course it it, but that’s not going to stop us. Now that all eight of the Atlantic Division teams have played at least five games, we can make some wildly uniformed guesses on how the season is going to play out. We’re going to attack this in reverse standings order (as of time of typing so the Senators and Maple Leafs games are not included).

8 - Montreal Canadiens: 3 Wins, 3 Losses, 16 goals scored.

This one isn’t surprising. Despite being in the Stanley Cup Final two seasons ago, the Habs are still in rebuild mode (especially with Carey Price all but officially retired due to injury). Now surprise first round pick Juraj Slafkovsky is battling an upper-body injury. The good news is that some of the youngsters like Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki are leading the way on the ice.

7 - Tampa Bay Lightning: 3 Wins, 3 Losses, 18 goals scored.

Everything is going to be fine.

6- Ottawa Senators: 3 Wins, 2 Losses, 21 goals scored.

After starting off 0-2, the Senators are starting to hit their stride. They have six players averaging a point-per-game, and none of them are named Claude Giroux (although he does have 4 points in 5 games). Anton Forsberg has been solid in his five starts. This team is going to be a handful to contend with.

5 - Toronto Maple Leafs: 4 Wins, 2 Losses, 18 goals scored.

A two-game winning streak has quieted the fan base a little. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner only have one goal a piece, that’s unlikely to continue. Once they heat up, things should be okay up North. Much like the Lightning, they know they have the horses to be in the race at the end of the year. Their MVP right now is probably Ilya Samsonov, who has posted a 1.73 GAA in four starts.

4 - Detroit Red Wings: 3 Wins, 0 Regulation Losses, 2 OT/SO Losses, 20 goals scored.

Who had the Red Wings as the last time in the division to not have a regulation loss? Anyone? Ville Husso and Alex Nedeljkovic have been solid in net and they are getting contributions from the veterans (4 goals in 5 games for David Perron). We’ll see if they can sustain this, but it’s a good sign that The Yzerplan is starting to pay off in the Motor City.

3 - Buffalo Sabres: 4 Wins, 1 Loss, 22 goals scored.

October is Sabres season! Each year it seems like they get off to a strong start only to fade out of the race by Christmas. Could this year be different? The prospects are playing led from the back end by Owen Power and Rasmus Dahlin (8 points in 5 games!) Can they sustain this with a goaltending duo of Craig Anderson and Eric Comrie? Probably not.

2 - Florida Panthers: 4 Wins, 1 Loss, 19 goals scored.

Their one loss was to the Lightning. They aren’t scoring at the same clip they did last year, but they are still finding ways to win. Can they continue to do it with a patchwork defense?

1 - Boston Bruins: 5 Wins, 1 Loss, 27 goals scored.

Can we, just once, go through a season without worrying about these guys? Just once? Remember those two weeks in the offseason when everyone thought they were going to start a rebuild? Those were good times. Instead it’s the same old names at the top of the leaderboard for them - David Pastrnak (10 points), David Krejci (7 points), and Patrice Bergeron (6 points).

If the season were to end today (man, would the owners be upset) Boston, Florida, Buffalo, Detroit, and Toronto would all be playoff teams. In order for the Lightning to make the playoffs and continue Pat Maroon’s streak of Stanley Cup Finals, one of these teams is going to have to fade by the end of the year. Which one do you think it’s going to be?

Poll

Which team is not likely to be in the playoffs this year?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Boston
    (11 votes)
  • 1%
    Florida
    (2 votes)
  • 59%
    Buffalo
    (64 votes)
  • 25%
    Detroit
    (27 votes)
  • 3%
    Toronto
    (4 votes)
108 votes total Vote Now

Lightning / NHL News

Crunch Wrap: Syracuse wins! [Raw Charge]

This team seems to be gelling a little quicker than other Ben Groulx teams. However, they only have one win out of their first four games.

Lightning hope to ‘break out’ on West Coast Trip [Tampa Bay Times]

Sunshine, movie stars, clean break out passes. These are some of the things the Lightning are looking foward to on the West Coast.

NHL announced their Three Stars of the Week [NHL.com]

Rasmus Dahlin (1st), Brady Tkachuk (2nd), MacKenzie Blackwood (3rd) received the honors for the week ending October 23rd. I have a feeling that if Stammer could have scored against the Islanders he would have been on the list. Dahlin passed Baldy Northcott to hold the record for the longest goal streak to start a season. Five games is impressive for any position.