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NHL Early Eastern Conference Breakdown: New York Rangers off to hot start

With over a month of the hockey season already completed, we take a look at how it's all shaping up in the East.

Now that the NHL season is a month into its existence, let's take a look at the Eastern Conference and see where teams stand.

Yes I know, the season is still young and much can change, but getting off to a good start can do wonders if a team wants to make that final wild card spot when April rolls around.

Metropolitan Division

You take a quick glance at this division and the three teams most expected to be on top are in fact the division leaders.

The New York Rangers are off to a fantastic 12-4-0 record, but what is most surprising is their +29 goal differential through 16 games. They are greatly outscoring opponents and not much is getting past the duo of Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Raanta. Expect the Rangers to keep rolling all season.

Right behind the Rangers are the Pittsburgh Penguins (10-3-2) and the Washington Capitals (9-4-1). Obviously no surprise here, both teams are expected to do well and they are so far.

If we had to look at some surprising starts I would look at three teams: New Jersey, Columbus and the other team from New York. The Devils are 8-3-3 with a 6-0-1 record at home, will they fall off? Maybe. They have the goaltending and a newly acquired Taylor Hall adding new life to this offence, but I don't know if they can keep this up.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are 7-4-2, a great start but not maintainable with that team. The New York Islanders are the biggest surprise, but in a negative way. 5-8-3. Calm down Islander fans, the season is still young. They will be back in the race for the wild card in no time, they're just too good to be down for long. 

Atlantic Division

This division is a bit more interesting up top. Obviously, Montreal is off to an unbelievable 13-2-1 start. We saw them get off to this kind of start last season before Price went down. As soon as he went down so did the team, so if he stays healthy, the Habs will continue their reign of terror.

The Boston Bruins have had an up-and-down start, but are winners of three in a row and seven of their last ten, which puts them second in the conference. This is a team that barely missed the playoffs for the last two seasons. Their defensive core concerns me and it puts into question whether this team will be good enough to make playoffs. However, their goaltending is solid (Tuukka Rask on a 10-1-0 start), Pastrnak is quickly becoming a star, and they have a deep set of forwards: anything is possible with this team.

The Ottawa Senators are 9-5-1, but based on their roster I find it difficult to see how this team can make a playoff push. I think their hot start cools off and they end up in the middle of the pack. Tampa Bay (9-6-1), on the other hand, will continue to improve their record. There is no need for Lightning fans to panic early on, as it took the Lightning a while to get things revved up last year.

The Maple Leafs (6-6-3) are playing entertaining hockey for their fans, but no playoffs should be expected. The big question is whether the Detroit Red Wings (8-7-1) can improve from their shaky start to squeak into the playoffs once again. They have had a six-game win streak so far this season, but other than that there is not much to be proud of. Look for their year to be a constant battle.

If there's one thing we know about this year's Eastern Conference, it's that if you get off to a great start, you can start thinking playoffs already. If not, you better step your game up or else that wild card will be out of your grasp before you know it.Welcome to, we are a professional and reliable NHL 17 Coins online supplier.


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