Boston Bruins: Predictions for the 2017-2018 NHL season

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 12: Matt Beleksey
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 12: Matt Beleksey /
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Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – MARCH 23: Brandon Calro /
  1. Boston Bruins
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning
  4. Montreal Canadiens
  5. Ottawa Senators
  6. Florida Panthers
  7. Detroit Red Wings
  8. Buffalo Sabres

I did a divisional preview and Bruins season preview for Chowder and Champions last month.  I took some flack from readers for putting the Bruins on top.  I’m sure some of you reading this are thinking I’m crazy, some rosy-cheeked rah-rah fan.  But answer me this…why can’t they finish atop the division?

The Bruins finished 3rd in the division last season with a weaker roster than this year’s edition.  The team now has two potential Calder Trophy candidates in Charlie McAvoy and Anders Bjork, a perennial Selke Trophy favorite in Patrice Bergeron, and a Hart Trophy candidate in Brad Marchand.  Not to mention, a young Czech phenom who just signed a new 6 year deal in David Pastrnak and a former Vezina Trophy winner in Tuukka Rask.

The NHL has shifted into a younger, faster game, and the Bruins have finally crafted a roster that meets those needs.  Plus, name a team in the division that significantly improved?  The Maple Leafs are a young team who exceeded expectations last season.  But their main addition was an aging Patrick Marleau.  The Lightning get Steven Stamkos back, but they’re putting all of their eggs in a young goalie’s basket in Andrei Vasilevskiy.

I think Boston, Toronto, Tampa Bay make the playoffs, and Montreal takes a Wild Card spot.