The Tampa Bay Lightning are soaring and nobody else is really coming close to touching them. The Ottawa Senators have defied the odds and sit in second place in the division. They pulled the trigger on a deal to bring in Matt Duchene, but where will it take them?
Tampa Bay Lightning
11-2-2 (24 points) / +17 goal differential / 49.8 CF% (17th) / 102.8 PDO (4th)
The Lightning have started to run away with the Atlantic Division. Last week, they padded their lead atop the standings with two wins and an overtime loss and are now seven points clear of the second placed Senators. The key for Tampa Bay has been a potent offensive attack as the team ranks first in the league in goals with 59 through 15 games. Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov are both on pace to shatter the 100-point plateau so far.
Text from my friend: "Matt Duchene can finally live out the dream of most Ontario boys: playing in a building full of Leafs fans all year."— Vegas Golden Bonk's Mullet (@BonksMullet) November 6, 2017
6-3-5 (17 points) / +4 goal differential / 45.6 CF% (30th) / 100.2 PDO (19th)
The Senators continue to be a bizarre conundrum as they boast the second most points in the Atlantic Division despite having lost two more games than they’ve won. They’re also routinely outshot and boast terrible underlying numbers, but continue to find success. Last week, the Sens went 1-2, including an 8-3 spanking from the Habs, who nearly doubled their season goal total with that showing. They also pulled the trigger on a trade, sending Kyle Turris to Nashville and a package of prospects and picks to Colorado for Matt Duchene. It’s a steep price to pay to upgrade from Turris to Duchene, but the Sens did add an elite offensive threat to the fold.
Toronto Maple Leafs
8-7-0 (16 points) / +2 goal differential / 51.8 CF% (9th) / 100.4 PDO (16th)
The Leafs went on a four-game West Coast Best Coast road trip and had a terrible time. They got downed in Patrick Marleau’s return to San Jose, beat Randy Carlyle’s injury-riddled Ducks, and then lost to the Kings and Blues to finish it off. The issue last week was poor defence and goaltending, which was particularly noticeable in the L.A. and St. Louis games. To add insult to injury (or injury to insult, I don’t know?) Auston Matthews is a game time decision tonight due to soreness.
Detroit Red Wings
7-7-1 (15 points) / +1 goal differential / 49.4 CF% (19th) / 100.5 PDO (14th)
The Red Wings are still sticking around in the Atlantic Division. Last week, they went 2-1 with wins over the Oilers and Coyotes and a loss to the Senators. It’s difficult to imagine the Wings handing around for much longer, but their underlying numbers are slightly better than we’ve seen in recent years.
Me when I saw the Bruins lineup tonight: pic.twitter.com/4vAMNIOKfq— ETD51 (@ETD51) November 2, 2017
5-4-3 (13 points) / -3 goal differential / 52.2 CF% (6th) / 98.5 PDO (23rd)
The Bruins had a 1-1-1 week, continuing their trend of hovering in the middle of the pack. The issue for this team has been scoring. Despite the fact they own excellent underlying numbers, the Bruins only really have one line that can score. This is much like what we saw last season. Tuukka Rask has also been mediocre this season, but Anton Khudobin has been excellent as a backup. Unfortunately, he’s missed three games in a row now with a lower body injury.
6-8-1 (13th) / -14 goal differential / 54.6 CF% (3rd) / 96.1 PDO (30th)
The Habs are slowly pulling themselves out of the gutter. Last week, they went 3-1 with wins over Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Chicago and are now only two games below .500. They’re finally starting to score goals, but goaltending has continued to be an issue. Carey Price has been awful this season and is currently sidelined with a lower-body injury, but Charlie Lindgren was recalled and put up a 38-save shutout in Chicago in his NHL debut.
antti niemi was here pic.twitter.com/nc1ensYnZJ— ego (@EvgeniMaIkinEgo) November 3, 2017
4-7-2 (10 points) / -9 goal differential / 48.5 CF% (21st) 100.5 PDO (15th)
The Panthers dropped all three games they played last week and are currently mired in a four-game losing streak. They’re quickly sliding down the standings largely because they can’t keep the puck out of the net. James Reimer and Roberto Luongo have struggled, and Antti Niemi, who was claimed off waivers, obviously isn’t the solution. As a group, the three Panthers goalies have a combined .839 save percentage, which essentially mitigates Florida’s solid offence.
4-8-2 (10 points) / -18 goal differential / 47.9 CF% (22nd) / 97.3 PDO (28th)
The Sabres went 1-1 last week, but their win came against the Coyotes, so does it really count? Buffalo is 4-8-2 on the season now, but Jack Eichel hasn’t openly stated how awful the team is in a little while which is a positive.