Can Pittsburgh and Washington both make the playoffs?
It wouldn't be a shock to see the eventual Stanley Cup winner come out of the Eastern Division. There's plenty of depth--at least at the very top. Made up of 6 Metro teams along with Boston and Buffalo, there's loads of bad blood to go around as well. Securing a playoff birth (i.e. a top 4 finish) won't be easy.
- Boston (P)
- Washington (P)
- Pittsburgh (P)
- Islanders (P)
- New Jersey
- Can Ilya Samsonov get it done for Washington? It's time for the 23-year-old Russian to take over the net vacated by Braden Holtby's departure. Can he do it?
- Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have dominated the NHL for 15 years. Is this the year they both fall short of making the playoffs?
- New Jersey and Buffalo look overmatched. Can either of them exceed expectations and challenge for a playoff spot?
- Washington lost Braden Holtby and added Zdeno Chara.
- Boston's D pairings won't seem the same without 'Big Z'. They also lost Tony Krug to St. Louis. Will Boston's defense remain one of the league's best?
- Buffalo added Taylor Hall and Eric Staal.
- Henrik Lundqvist will miss season with a heart condition.