NHL Atlantic Division Notebook: A Few Games In

Here we are, starting to get into the rhythm of things. Teams have hopefully gotten rid of the opening night jitters. The opening week showed us a few things – they are scoring at will north of the border, rookies have made an impact, and some probably wish they got off to a better start. It’s early though,
very early.

NHL Atlantic Division Notebook

Toronto Lit the Lamp

The Maple Leafs opened the season with a 7-2 win over Winnipeg and followed it up with a 8-5 victory in the home opener against the New York Rangers. They are tied with only the Chicago Blackhawks for most goals scored this season. Now, not only is Toronto’s two-game tally of 15 extremely impressive, it’s also historic. They haven’t opened a season like this in quite some time.

The addition of Patrick Marleau had no awkward transition period on the ice, as he put two in the back of the net on opening night and added a helper against the Rangers. Auston Matthews picked up right where he left off and leads the team with 4 points. But what stands out the most in these first two games, is how many have gotten on the score sheet. Now sure, when there are 15 goals scored, people are going to get their share, but 12 players have registered a goal. It goes to show that they have the balance to not solely rely on their top lines, and that could make them very dangerous.

At this point, starter Frederick Andersen’s 3.50 GAA is nothing to worry about, but if the offense starts to come back down to earth, it will definitely be something to keep an eye on. This upcoming week will be interesting as they have Chicago (10/9) and New Jersey (10/11) at home before heading to The Bell Centre for a division matchup with Montréal on Saturday (10/14). By then, we will have a much better sample size.

Boston’s Rookies Step Up

The Boston Bruins are one of only a few teams to play only one game through the weekend. After 60 minutes and a 4-3 win over the Stanley Cup finalists, Nashville predators, the off-season story of “how will the rookies fit in?” was answered. Jake DeBrusk and Charlie McAvoy each recorded their first career NHL goals on the way to 1-1-2 nights. Anders Bjork got his first NHL point on an assist that set up DeBrusk’s goal. Things got a little hairy as time wound down, but they are back at it today with a Columbus Day matinée against the Colorado Avalanche before heading west to play Colorado on their ice on Wednesday and Arizona and the Vegas Golden Knights this weekend.

I will be in Vegas for the game and will have a few words about the trip coming.

Montréal’s Sluggish Start

The Canadians are off to a slow start all around. They started the season against Buffalo and came out on top 3-2 after a shootout. Carey Price turned in a quality start in that opener, only to be yanked the following game at the start of the second period in favor for Al Montoya after allowing four goals in the opening frame to the Washington Capitals.

Price did however bounce back on Sunday stopping 23 of 25 against the Rangers, but it just wasn’t enough. Henrik Lundqvist blanked the Canadians offense and the Habs lost 2-1 bringing them to 1 – 2 on the year. The addition of Jonathan Drouin has yet to have an impact as they have scored just three goals in three games.

Quick Notes

Jimmy Howard has led Detroit to a 2–0 start, stopping 74 of 77 shots faced, in games against Minnesota and Ottawa.

Stamkos is back and Kucherov is finding the score sheet, but the leading scorer down in Tampa is 21-year-old Brayden Point. Coming off a 40 point rookie campaign last year, he is currently leading the team with five points(2-3-5) through two games.

Read More: 

One-on-One Interview With Boston Bruins’ GM Don Sweeney

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Alex Thomas’ 2017-18 NHL Predictions

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2017-18 Boston Bruins Preview

Photo Credit: By Kristina Servant from Montreal, Canada [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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