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One-on-One: Who is the best team in the NHL Eastern Conference?

Boston Bruins

The NHL season is in full swing, and it’s pretty easy to see that nobody deserves to win the Metropolitan Division.  It’s also easy to see that Metropolitan is a stupid name for a division, but that’s beside the point.  So if we’re trying to figure out who will win the east, we have to look at the Atlantic division.  Once we do, it’s pretty obvious that the Boston Bruins are the best team in the Eastern Conference.

Why are they the best? It’s simple. You can’t win if you can’t score.  Boston is tops in the NHL in goals allowed, giving up less than two per game.  Tuukka Rask has given up just 23 goals in his 15 games, and has led the team to two shutouts early.

But not only can Boston stop you from scoring, they can put pucks in the net themselves. They’re in the top half of the league in scoring at just under three goals per game.  They’re also riding a hot streak, having recently won three games in a row.

They’re finally figuring out what style of hockey best suits their roster, and even their second line is getting in on the action of late. They’re deep, and they’re dangerous, and that’s why I believe they’ll be the Eastern Conference champions.

-Garth Shanklin


Tampa Bay Lightning

 Through the first quarter of the season, the NHL’s Eastern Conference has shown that the Atlantic Division may be the division race to watch when the final stretch of the season comes.

But for now, the tight competition is fun to watch, and the one team that trumps the rest is the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Yeah, they lost Stephen Stamkos, who was the leading goal scorer in the NHL, and that’s a loss that will definitely hurt as the year continues. However, even with Stamkos out indefinitely with a broken leg, there’s still hope for the Lightning.

Armed with winger Martin St. Louis, who has a +10 plus/minus rating, and all-around center Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay has a chance to pull together a team that could be better than the 24-point Eastern Conference leader they already are.

With team that lacks pure star power with Stamkos out, the real power has to come from off their bench, and from their starters, if Tampa Bay wants to keep their spot atop of the Atlantic division and the entire Eastern Conference. Stamkos’ injury immensely hurts Tampa. But, if the team can pick up his production, they’ll be right where they want to be.

-Chris Kwiecinski


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