The Atlantic Division is one of the four divisions in the National Hockey League and is one of two in the Eastern Conference.
The original Atlantic Division was formed in 1993 as a product of the NHL’s realignment. Another reshuffle in 2013 saw the former Atlantic Division realigned into the Metropolitan Division. Meanwhile, the name Atlantic Division was assigned to a new group of teams composed of the former Northeast Division plus the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers from the dissolved Southeast Division and the Detroit Red Wings who moved in from the Central Division of the Western Conference.
The New Jersey Devils are the winningest team in the history of the Atlantic Division with 10 titles. The Philadelphia Flyers rank next with a total of six while the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning each have two division titles won.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have won the Atlantic Division in the last two seasons with the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs finishing in second and third, respectively, the past two seasons. This coming 2019/20 season, the Lightning are once again favored to win the division with the Maple Leafs and Bruins expected to finish behind them at 2 and 3.
Here are the odds to win the NHL’s Atlantic Division for the 2019-20 season. These odds were taken from MyBookie.ag as of 9/26/19:
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+110|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+275|
Who Are The Favorites?
The Tampa Bay Lightning won a record 62 regular season games last season. But despite having one of the best seasons ever by any NHL team, they didn’t take home the Stanley Cup last season. Tampa Bay choked in the playoffs and were swept by 8th ranked Columbus in the first round of the playoffs. Despite the disappointing finish, the Lightning are the NHL betting favorites to win the Atlantic Division this coming season. The reason behind that is that Tampa Bay is returning almost the same team that won 62 games last season. There is no reason why this team can’t win 60 regular season games this year and that number should be more than enough to win the Atlantic Division.
The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Mitch Marner to a six-year deal worth over $65M. That deal locks up the last of their Big Three and gives this team plenty of confidence heading to the coming season. Some people say that the Leafs overpaid Marner but there is no question that he is a huge part of what they do on offense. And if you want to win Stanley Cups in the NHL, you have to put a premium on your offense. On defense, there are some holes around leader Morgan Reilly and I’m not sure if Toronto will be able to cover up for the losses. I think Toronto is going to make the playoffs comfortably but as to winning the division, I’m not really sure they can beat the Lightning.
The Boston Bruins are third on the oddsboard but they were one game away from hoisting the Stanley Cup last season but lost to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the finals. Although some people were surprised that they were able to make a run that deep, this Boston squad is one that knows how to win games, especially the big ones. Their ability to rise to the occasion was one of the keys to their success. Of course, they had their three-headed monster of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, who combined to score 260 points last season.
The Florida Panthers have a good young core and a great system in place but I think they are still at least a year away from battling for a playoff spot. The Montreal Canadiens have some nice pieces led by Carey Price but I don’t think they have enough talent to beat the elite teams in the division. The Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and Washington Senators should comprise the bottom of the division.
Tampa Bay is out to prove that last season was no fluke. With a veteran lineup loaded with talent, there is no question that this division is theirs to lose. The Lightning have the best defensive team in the league, at least on paper, with guys like Ryan McDonagh, Mikhail Sergachev, and a former Norris trophy winner in Victor Hedman On offense, they have the current MVP (Hart Trophy) winner in Nikita Kucherov plus their captain Steven Stamkos. I think the team with the most experience and talent wins it. Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning