The Atlantic Division is the most diverse branch in the NHL, since it comprises teams which have a very realistic shot of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup in June and nightclubs that will likely only be competing for the No. 1 overall choice from the 2019 NHL Draft.
For the very first time in recent memory, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the +160 favorites to win the Atlantic at BetOnline, followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning (+165), Boston Bruins (+260), Florida Panthers (+1200), Buffalo Sabres (+3500), Montreal Canadiens (+4000), Detroit Red Wings (+5000) and Ottawa Senators (+6600).
The time is now for the Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs have the very best chance to win the Stanley Cup along with being division favorites. The Leafs set franchise records for wins and points last season and have been a period away from advancing to the next round of the playoffs prior to suffering yet another first-round exit to the Bruins. But Toronto made the biggest splash of this summer by registering hometown boy John Tavares, providing them a three-headed monster down the middle with Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri.
Toronto ranked fourth in the league in goals for some time boasting the second-best power play in 2017-18, so adding Tavares to the combination is utterly terrifying for the remainder of the NHL. The defense remains a work-in-progress and is obviously the team’s weakest link, and goaltender Frederik Andersen has revealed inconsistency at times but stays a very good starter. The Leafs will not be going anywhere for a long, long time, and also an Atlantic Division banner is a very realistic chance for Mike Babcock’s team.
Lightning The Lightning have made three trips to the Eastern Conference final in the last four decades, yet they have nothing to show for this. On paper, Tampa Bay possesses what’s arguably the best team in the NHL, as Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, J.T. Miller, Ondrej Palat, Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson make an extremely talented top-six forward group. Starting goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy looked as the Vezina Trophy preferred for its first half of this 2017-18 campaign before falling off as the playoffs approached but will be new for the season opener.
The Bruins weren’t anticipated to be this good this quickly, but Boston’s youthful group arrived ahead of schedule this past year along with the Bruins ended with 50 wins and 112 points as a result. The B’s, who ranked sixth in goals for and fourth in goals against, also had the fourth-best power play and third-best penalty kill at the NHL. Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak include the top lineup in the league, while the remainder of the roster is filled with both depth and potential.
Apart from the Maple Leafs, Bruins and Lightning, just the Panthers look like a potential playoff team in my eyes. The Sabres, Canadiens, Red Wings and notably the Senators all boast their fair share of issues and should not be even considered as a prospective futures bet.

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