- Craig Custance
Continuing our look at how NHL teams are trending in the new divisions, we examine the Atlantic, which features a handful of playoff teams and a couple of clubs on the rise.
Average team point total last season: 52.3
2012-13 playoff teams: Five (Bruins, Red Wings, Canadiens, Senators, Maple Leafs)
Notable strength: The Atlantic is deep with teams that are above average at even strength. The 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio is a good indicator of the strength of a team, and the Atlantic featured six of the top 15 in the NHL, with Boston leading the division at 1.28. Buffalo and Florida were the only Atlantic teams outside the top half of the league.
Points last season: 62
Trending: Down -- GM Peter Chiarelli has built a team that should contend for the long term and did well to add the underrated Eriksson into the mix. But the Stanley Cup hangover can hit the runner-up as well as the winner. The 2012 Eastern Conference champion Devils didn't even make the playoffs last season after losing to the Kings in the Cup finals. Considering the short summer, it's asking a lot for the Bruins to bounce right back, especially factoring in all they sacrificed physically to push the Blackhawks to six games. Ference was a locker-room warrior for this group and will be missed. Horton scored some of the biggest goals in franchise history during the Bruins' recent playoff runs, and even if Seguin underachieved at times, his speed is a weapon that isn't easy to replace. Even with great leaders like Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara, it may be hard for this team to get going next season.
Craig Custance examines each team in the Atlantic Division as the NHL realigns. Can the Bruins maintain their momentum after a tough Cup finals loss and several key departures? And will the Red Wings rise with new addition Daniel Alfredsson?