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Monday, September 30, 2013

Morning Drive: The League's Atlantic Division Preview

This past Friday on the Radio: PI Podcast Network presentation of The League, Brian and TJ previewed the all-new Atlantic Division. A lot has changed in the Atlantic, and to supplement their preview, here are their predictions for the regular season final division standings:

TJ's Atlantic Division Prediction

1.) Boston - The Bruins lost a few big names this off-season. However, the core group remains mostly intact and not to mention they have a guy in net named Tuuka Rask.
2.) Ottawa – The Spezza reign begins! It’s hard to count on his health, but the new captain is more than ready to lead the Sens to new heights. If Craig Anderson repeats last season, look out!
3.) Montreal – Was last year a fluke or did the Habs finally turned things around? I believe the latter and the Canadians are only getting better.
4.) Detroit – Out of the Western conference, the Wings will still find it difficult to reclaim their spot among the leagues’ elite.
5.)  Toronto – The Leafs showed this off-season that they are not content with just ending their long playoff drought, which is why the brought in coveted free agent David Clarkson. 
6.) Tampa Bay – This division is all about the teams up north. Calder trophy hopeful Jonathan Drouin will be a player to watch all year and will be a solid building block for years to come.
7.) Buffalo – Built on prospects and an inactive summer, the Sabres are not even close to the playoffs this season. Note for the future; Ryan Miller’s mind is not the gutter, it’s on the Olympics.
8.) Florida – Fans don’t care and the product is conducive to that.  That’s the positive thing I can find to say.

Brian's Atlantic Division Prediction

1.) Boston - Top to bottom, the Bruins may be the best team in the league this year. Their efficiency in their own end will continue to carry them to the top.
2.) Montreal - The Habs have confidence. They have grit. They have Carey Price. They have P.K. Subban. And they have defensive minded disciplinarian Michel Therrien guiding them. They are a threat to any team on any night.
3.) Detroit - The Red Wings are always in the hunt and, while they are aging, they've got enough experience to carry them through a full-length regular season.
4.) Ottawa - Daniel Alfredsson leaving for Detroit may not have a huge impact on the statline for the Sens, but they will be forced to turn to some new leadership. The sooner they find it the better.
5.) Tampa Bay - One line is not enough in today's NHL no matter how good that line is. Tampa is proof of that.
6.) Buffalo - I could be dead wrong on Buffalo. As a matter of fact, I hope that I am. They've got a new coach in Ron Rolston. The old guard is all but gone. The young faces in upstate New York will be forced to show they're ready.
7.) Florida - Great seats are still available! Tim Thomas should allow this team to put up a fight most nights. Either way, the new ownership in South Florida will be hoping to hit pay-dirt at the upcoming Draft Lottery.

Be sure to check out The League, Case and Point, 412 Sports Talk and Radio: PI on  BTR. Subscribe on iTunes or stream it live to your PC or mobile device through Stitcher. 

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