The Atlantic Divison

I’m not going to make some crazy predictions that the team i love and cheer for is the best team in the league and that they will win no matter what, like some other fans. But i’m going to break down what each team did to improve, or what they didn’t do to actually take a step back.

We’ll start with what i feel the weakest link in the Atlantic.

New York Islanders – After making the playoffs last year and surprising everyone, they didn’t last long. Their leading scorer left, and they lost one of their best d-men in Poti. Blake had 69 points last year, leading the team, while Poti put up a modest 44. After losing Blake, Smyth, Poti, Kozlov, Yashin, Hill, and Zednick, the Islanders tried to patch some holes. They picked up Guerin, Fedotenko, Comrie and John Sim.

They still have a gaping hole at Center for the top lines. In my opinion the only way they make it to the playoffs this year is if other teams in the atlantic tank. Granted i feel they took steps in the right direction, they didn’t make enough of them just yet. The Islanders are probally planning on trying to pick up a Center, if not, don’t expect much from them. (Side note; The Islanders had 2 players score over 60 points last season, neither of which re-signed)

New Jersey Devils- After a terrible offensive season for the Devils, they look like their heading into an even worse one this year. Elias needs to start scoring more for this team to be succesful next year (69 pts last year). Parise looks to be a terrific prospect, that could bloom into something really special next year. With Gomez and Rafalski gone, they need to look to fill the spots left from those two stars. Zubrus is probally going to be a great fit in New Jersey, the way he plays should fit in very well. While they seem to look like a terrible team, they still have arguably one of the best goalies in the league. With him in net, and the way they play D, they will make the playoffs again. I’m sure a trade is coming soon however, their is no way Lou takes this team into the regular season.

Pittsburgh Penguins- I’ll try my very best to talk about them without obvious bias. With their young core of talent in Crosby, Malkin, Whitney, and Staal this team is going to be great next year. Will they win the cup? Probally not. But this team will be in the playoffs. Crosby will score over 100 points again this year and battle Joe for points total. With the additions of Sykora and Sydor, this team should be really scary next year. While i’m not a fan of Armstrong, he has been resigned to a 2 year deal. This team will probally wreak havoc on the entire Conference starting from day one. I expect them to be a player right from the door. With Roberts and Rechhi resigning, they guarenteed a firm veteran influence that’s been missing for a year or two. Should be a great team to watch next year, that is, if you don’t hate them with all of your heart. Pens Suck!

New York Rangers – What the Rangers did on July 1st was remarkable. They took their team, and made it better in less than a day. With Gomez and Drury they should go deeper into the playoffs next year. Other than Malik, who was a +32 last year, their D-men are questionable at best. Like every other year, this team will rely on Goaltending and Scoring, nothing else. The Rangers, Pens, and Flyers look to be awesome games coming up this year. The Rangers usually always play exciting hockey, and are going to be a force to reckon with if their players gel right away. As much as i hate to say it, since i’ve been denying it, this is the team to beat in the East. Losing Nylander will hurt, his 83 points last year went a long way compared to Gomez’s 60 points or Drury’s 69 points. If Gomez and Drury are able to get comfortable quickly, its going to be a great year to be a Rangers fan. As much as i think they’ve really improved, i still can not wait to play the Rangers.

Philadelphia Flyers – It is no secret the Flyers had a bad year last year, its also no secret that it was the first time in 11 years the flyers missed the playoffs. There are countless reasons why they were so bad last year, and whil injuries played a huge part in it, it also had to do with bad years from the sophmore players. Gagne, on the worst team in the league, sill put up 41 goals. Another problem was their D-men, who seemed to take huge steps back. While Pitkanen put up some points, he was no where to be found when it came to defending his own net. He’s famous for skating the puck in from the point, and skate towards the back of the net, and take the worst angle shot in the world(-25 last year). Hard to believe though, that the WORST team in the league, had one of the best PK’ing units in the league. They should be even better next year on the PK. With Briere they don’t know what they’re really getting, he hasn’t been a steady producer of big numbers, but he’s shown he can play. Only time will tell if he was worth it, but at 6.5 compared to Gomez or Drury he won’t be a bust if he doesn’t score 90 points. Obviously i feel very strongly about the Flyers this year, as i can already tell they’re going to make the playoffs, and its not really hard to picture it. The biggest question right now is, can Biron do it? Can he prove this year that he’s a starting goalie in the NHL? We’ll see. (79 more days till the Flyers first game)

Just like Last year, this divison will send 4 teams to the playoffs. Argue about points all you want, The Northeast only had 2 teams in the playoffs last year. These 3 teams, will feast on Florida, Washington, and Islanders. Should be interesting to see how Buffalo fairs, along with Boston and Carolina.

The Atlantic Divison has sent 3 or more teams to the playoffs every year since 1997.
So, all in all, it should be another Atlantic year, again.


21 Responses to The Atlantic Divison

  1. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    the division had 4 teams make it last year, because they all played 8 games against philly. not hard to make the post season, whenbyou've allready got 16 points in the books. This division has 2 really tough teams(pittsburgh, Rangers) that could squeeze the other 3 out(not unlike Ottawa and Buffalo last season in the NE). The question is, can Philly or New Jersey squeese in. I think Philly can, Jersey cant.

  2. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    no doubt about it either.
    dont forget about lupul and jason smith
    not only that your forgetting about knuble with philly
    the devils have elias and gionta and Brodeur.
    Brodeurs also brodeur so dont expect them to miss the playoffs unless Brodeur dies.
    Rangers well if they dont get atleast top 4 and make atleast semi finals (barring injuries etc) this season is a failure
    Penguins well im gonna go out on a limb and say next year is their year not this year. just another year of experience under thier belts.

  3. canucklehead_101 says:

    If Jersey lets go of Elias or Gionta they're done

  4. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    they wont, but those guys will have trouble scoring with out Rafalski and gomez(the 2 playmakers on the team)

  5. JuicemaN says:

    At least when BLUE AND WHITE made his Northeast division prediction he gave each team an equal amount of comments showing no bias towards his favourite team.

    You on the other hand babble on about the flyers for 8 (sort of 9( boring lines of sheer sherlock comments.

    That combinded with your smartass comment to open your article just continue to prove how immature you are…don't forget to get mommy and daddy's permission to let you back on the internet to reply to this with some four letter words and name calling.

    I can't wait till you're banned again.

  6. jody200411 says:

    I don't understand all this talk about the Atlantic being the best division in hockey. I really think last year it was the Northeast or Northwest.

    I'll just use the Northeast/Atlantic argument again.

    Northeast tallied more total points.
    Northeast's weakest team had more points than the Atlantic's weakest team.

    The only case is that the Atlantic sent 4 teams to the postseason while the Northeast sent 2. However, the last 3 seeds were wide open in the East. It was a coin flip between 6 teams (2 in each division; Tor,Mtl,NYR,NYI,Car,TB) With 80 games played, It was just as easy for Montreal and Toronto to have made the playoffs, or the two New York teams could have missed.

    The fact is NYR,NYI, Montreal and Toronto were all pretty well equal in strength.
    Boston was much better than Philly.
    Buffalo was better than Jersey.
    And Ottawa was equal to/or better than Pittsburgh. (due to the post season match-up, I vote for Ottawa who easily won in 5)

    And oh yeah, I almost forgot; two Northeast teams were in the Conferece Finals.

    Atlantic is a great division, no doubt. But many people are arguing that they're the best division in hockey…. not yet!

    BTW; a busy/productive offseason by Philly and NYR doesn't automatically assume that they will be a whole lot better. Remember the years when New York kept buying their team but would repeatedly miss the pot-season. You can't really judge those moves until a couple months into next season.

    But for now, I vote Northeast

  7. senators101 says:

    He said he was going to discuss things teams did and did not move that will affect this years outcome.  Clearly, Philadelphia did more than any other team in that division AND he still didn't cover everything.  So, he talked about them more, whats the problem?  It's not like he showed bias when he talked about Pittsburgh.

    I'll quote many leaf fans write when ppl complain about their numerous articles.  Better yet, I'll quote you: 

    Again, if you don't like Leaf articles don't read them.

    Kinda like how you stay away from travelling to Iraq right now…don't like the odds of being taken hostage…don't go to Iraq.

    Again, if you don't like Leaf articles don't read them.

    So, if you don't like the Flyers articles, don't read them.  And although this isn't a flyers article, don't read the flyers portion of it if you don't want to.

  8. ranger_fan says:

    hmm Believe it or not – Malik may just be the Rangers worst defenseman. He has that plus minus because he is always playing with the big first line and he won't always be beat defensively because more times than not he will take a hooking penalty. Most of the Garden faithful would love to see Malik gone and have a defense with

    Tyutin Girardi
    Staal? Rozival
    Pock  Mara? [Mara might be unloaded b/c of his salary]

  9. ranger_fan says:

    Except the Islanders [possibly the Devils but they will be there anyways] every team in the Atlantic made improvements. Buffalo lost out, Ottawa lost a couple, Montreal has done nothing, and I don't see Toronto much better next season. Oh and no way the Bruins go anywhere but back

  10. Paperhat5788 says:

    The games between the Penguins and Rangers are going to be really fun to watch.  Might be the most exciting series of the season.

  11. JuicemaN says:

    I'm just doing to him what he does to Leaf fans.

    I don't care if he talks about Philly till he's blue in the face, but he always complains about leaf fans being biased, and they are and I try my very best to separate myself from the many irratic leaf fans.  The fact that he complains about all the leaf articles and the leaf biased fans and then he goes ahead and does the exact same thing; is what has me going against him.

    I don't complain about there always being flyers articles all over the board, as a matter of fact I don't complain about there being too much of anything.  I'm simply just trying to get the point accross to this guy that he's a cancer to HTR.

    So, your point would be valid if I was complaining about there being flyers articles and if I was then you saying "So, if you don't like the Flyers articles, don't read them.  And although this isn't a flyers article, don't read the flyers portion of it if you don't want to." would make sense but I've never once said it about any team let a lone Philly. 

    Actually if you knew any background on me at all you would've read that I've actually said " I respect the flyers organization for there many years of success and for the quality of their fans" unlike Penssuck I dont seek out certain teams articles just to bash their comments.

    He admittingly seeks out leaf articles and wants to piss leaf fans off, I know you're a sens fan but can you honestly stick up for someone as immature and out of order as this guy.

    You are sticking up for a guy who was previously banned for making derogitory comments about Canada, their patrons and homosexuals.  I'm not arguing with you, just simply letting you know why I jumped all over his article as he does it every day all day to every single leaf article ever written since his immature self joined this site.

    Before you reply, keep in mind no matter how much research you do on me you would've never seen me put down the senators organization or any other NHL organization…I'm just a Leaf fan that hates to be lumped in with the regular leaf fans for their unrealistic comments, but I think there's nothing wrong with Leaf fans being as over-zealous and excited as they are. We've had a bad team for a few years and we're excited about the small possibility of perhaps being able to actually beat the sens in the regular season for once.

  12. senators101 says:

    You're the one that tried to point out his bias with him babbling on or whatever about the Flyers.  Thats why I am saying to you whatever you said to ppl who bashed the many ppl complaining about leaf articles.

    You're taking this article out of context. If an unknown person wrote this article, I don't think you would have said anything.  Regardless of the fact that he made comments about Canada or whatever, he did a pretty decent job analyzing this division with little to no bias, and I think you'd have to agree with that.  He discussed all teams and he didn't bother putting the standings which was pretty smart of him.  If you look at the other division analysis articles, most of the retarded comments stem from division standings.  And even some of his other articles or comments (Excluding the comments that piss leaf fans up) make sense, but the leaf fans here will comment on it without even reading it because its from him.

    I'm not sticking up for him, but if you're complaining about him doing it, then it doesn't make much sense for you to do to the same.  Cuz if you do that, you guys will go back and forth and waste each others time.

    I'm not saying you're a typical leaf fan and you're right, there is nothing wrong with Leaf fans being over-zealous.  But at the same time, he's probably excited about Philly's chances this year, especially after last year's sub-par season.

  13. JuicemaN says:

    You're absolutely right, he did a fantastic job with this article, he really did!

    But I'm trying to do to him what he does to Leaf fans…they write an artilce be it a good one or a bad one and he will always find something to put it down, whether it's a spelling mistake or an unrealistic trade proposal.

    All I did in my initial comment to him was EXACTLY what he does to Leaf fans and with your response it shows exaclty how out-of-line my response was and how unfair it was.   There's been so many actual decent Leaf articles (even if they're not on the main board he seeks them out on the leaf rumors board) and he still puts them down, sometimes with a response as simple as "Leaf suck".

    I'm definitely taking the article out of context, I'm trying to show exactly what he does on a daily basis.

    So to those whom having nothing to do with this, I do appologize for wasting space on the board, but this guy does it to Leaf boards on a daily basis.

    Perhaps I'm being no better than him, but this was his second article that he's written and I wanted to show him how annoying it is when people like him take their topic out of context and ruin the actual initial purpose of the post.

  14. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    oh no, Buffalo philly. THAT will be an interesting series.

  15. gronk says:

    the rangers are better than toronto and montreal this year and last year.  the only stuggling team in the atlantic this year is gonna be the islanders and they'll still probably be better than boston.  rangers, pens, flyers are gonna put up some big points this year. 

  16. gronk says:

    i agree with a lot of your article.  i really think biron is gonna get torched though.  with all of the offense in the atlantic the rangers and pens are gonna blow by him.  i don't see enough strength at goaltender for philly but they're still gonna be a lot better than last year. 

  17. slootermac says:

    biron will have a true test ahead of him… but nittymaki will be more than solid if biron falters, everyone is quick to judge nitty because of last year but the whole team played like trash, and he was injured all season… Don't forget he was the 2006 olympic MVP and the MVP of the calder cup playoffs when the phantoms won the championship during the lockout. The flyers will be just fine.

  18. NjDEVSFN says:

    the Devils have not lost ONE PLAYER that negatively effects (affects?) how well they play defensively.

    yes, they lost Rafalski and Gomez, but they only combined for 21 goals.
    Gionta missed ~20games and couldve easily had 10 more goals. anyone that watched the Devils consistently this year would know that Elias kept forgetting to remove the snake BEFORE putting his skates on.
    the Devils can easily replace the 21 goals that Gomez and Rafalski scored, and improved seasons from Gionta and Elias, along with strong seasons from Zubrus, Parise, Zajac, and Langenbrunner, they can replace ALL the goals that were accountable to Gomez and Rafalski easily.
    the only significant player the Devils are missing is a DEFENSIVE point man. yes, Langenbrunner can drill the puck, but I wouldnt be surprised that a couple of SHG's against the Devils were partly because of having 4 forwards on the ice.
    who knows, maybe Andy Greene will be sufficient enough as a defensive point…he does have a 96+ MPH slapshot.
  19. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    The devils have no playmakers. Gomez and Rafalski were big parts of that team, more so than Drury and Briere were to buffalo.

  20. brianc689 says:

    the contributions of gomez and rafalski to the devils was never measured in goals, it was assists. these two guys were the primary set-up men for the snipers like elias and gionta. zubrus alone can replace the goals lost, but that doesnt matter. they dont have the true set-up man for this team to gel. an elias-zubrus-gionta line wont work, in my opinion, because they will all be looking for the goals, not the assists.

  21. wheresthesoda says:

    Karel Rachunek will probably be given the opportunity, he has a lot of offensive upside

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