Likely out of reach for the Florida Panthers
The final two teams represent the best of the best in the Atlantic Division this season. Given the current set of circumstances, as we enter the season, nobody from the other two tiers will be matching them.
Normally a team coming off losing their top two centers that combined for 114 points and a Selke Trophy last season would be facing long odds. But the Boston Bruins are not just any team.
Boston separates themselves from the rest of the Atlantic with one of the best blue lines in the league and two goaltenders that would be undisputed starters on their own anywhere else in the league. Together, those two position groups helped Boston in allowing 36 fewer goals against than the next closest team last season.
With both units still intact, there is no reason to suspect they will not be a defensive force again this season.
They might struggle to repeat as the second highest scoring team in the league without Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, but Pavel Zacha, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak are still going to keep the offense producing.
No Atlantic team, in recent years, has been a more consistent regular season performer than the Toronto Maple Leafs. The core of the team is intact minus the loss of forward Michael Bunting. However, Tyler Bertuzzi’s addition in free agency will prevent any loss from being felt in the lineup.
Wit the rest of the usual Atlantic competitors dealing with offseason and injury losses, there is little to hold the Leafs back from running away with the division.
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