Welcome into our bi-weekly deep dive into the Atlantic Division!
Not much as changed in the two weeks since the last edition. The top three remain the same, the Boston Bruins continue to battle a stupid schedule, while we do have a new member of the cellar.
Here is a look at how the Atlantic Division is shaping up six weeks into the season.
Florida Panthers (13-2-3, 29 points)
The Panthers aren’t just the best team in the Atlantic, they have the best record in the NHL and look like the top contenders right now for the Stanley Cup.
They had a tough stretch, losing four consecutive games, but were able to grab two points in those games. They have since snapped that losing streak and are winners of their last three in a row.
Florida will be without star forward and captain Aleksandar Barkov for a bit as he’s out week-to-week with a leg injury. Despite missing three games, he’s still second on the team in points with 17, only behind Jonathan Huberdeau’s 18. Oh, and Florida is a perfect 10-0-0 at home this season. Not too shabby.
Toronto Maple Leafs (13-6-1, 27 points)
A bad start? What bad start? The Maple Leafs have been flat-out dominant after stumbling out of the gates.
After starting the season 2-4-1, Toronto is 11-2-0 since. Most recently, Joseph Woll got his first career NHL shutout with a 3-0 blanking of the New York Islanders.
The big four of Matthews, Marner, Tavares and Nylander all have at least 15 points this season. Marner leads the team in points with 17 and assists with 11. Tavares has the team-lead in goals with nine. They head out to California for that road trip as their next six opponents all come from the Western Conference.
Tampa Bay Lightning (10-4-3, 23 points)
The Lightning actually have a slightly better win percentage than the Maple Leafs, but with three more games played, the Leafs sit in second with more points.
Tampa is winners of five of its last seven games and has gotten points in six of the seven. Again, this is all coming without star forward Nikita Kucherov.
Steven Stamkos is up to 19 points to lead the team, in addition to his nine goals placing him at the top on the Lightning. Victor Hedman has 14 assists. Andrei Vasilevskiy continues to be a top goaltender. This team could still win another Stanley Cup.
Detroit Red Wings (8-9-3, 19 points)
We’ve been waiting for the Red Wings to fall off and it looks like that time is coming.
They are losers of four in a row and five of their last seven. During the their four-game skid, they have been outscored 17-8 and given up five goals in three of the four. You know it’s bad when you’re blowing leads and losing to the Coyotes.
Good news is this team wasn’t expected to contend this year and instead, use it as a step towards ending the rebuild. With rookie Lucas Raymond leading the team in points (19) and assists (12) and rookie Moritz Seider with 11 assists, that means they’re going in the right direction.