2018 NHL Season Preview & Predictions: Atlantic Division

Photo of the pickswise logo
Photo of Alex Alarcon

Alex Alarcon


Show Bio

Content Manager for Pickswise.com The home of free sports picks and experts best bets.

The Atlantic Division in the NHL will be one of the most competitive divisions in the league as it features three teams that are near the top in terms of winning the Stanley Cup in the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins. In this preview we will look at the top three contenders within the division their odds of winning the division, conference and Stanley Cup. We will also look at some of the lesser teams and whether they could make a push to make the playoffs or not. Let’s start with the divisional favorites in the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning are +135 to win the Atlantic Division, +400 to win the Eastern Conference and +1000 to win the Stanley Cup. The Lightning finished last season with 113 points which was the most in the Western Conference and are the reigning Atlantic Division Champions. They lost in game 7 of the series of the conference finals to the Washington Capitals. The Lightning didn’t make any big moves or lose any key players, so one of the best teams in the East should remain at or near the top again this season. The Lightning are almost a lock to make the playoffs and should be among the favorites to win the conference.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs are +175 to win the Atlantic Division, +500 to win the Eastern Conference and +1200 to win the Stanley Cup. The Maple Leafs finished last season with 105 points and made the playoff as the 3rd team from the division, but were eliminated in the 1st round by the Boston Bruins in game 7 of the 1st round. The Maple Leafs lost James van Reimsdyk and Tyler Bozak, but did sign one of the biggest free agents in the offseason in John Tavares. Tavares improves an already explosive team in the scoring department. The Maple Leafs will likely be one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL, but the only problem is their defense which remains poor and could stop them from winning the Stanley Cup.

Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins are +255 to win the Atlantic Division, +500 to win the Eastern Conference and +1200 to win the Stanley Cup. The Boston Bruins finished last season with 112 points and finished as the 2nd place team in the division behind the Lightning. They lost in the second round of the playoffs 4 games to 1 against the Lightning after beating the Maple Leafs in round 1. The Bruins lost a lot of key players last season in Austin Czarnik, Nick Holden, Anton Khudobin, Rick Nash, Riley Nash Tim Schaller and Tommy Wingels. They added Haroslav Halak, John Moore and Chris Wagner to replace them, but are all downgrades compared to what they lost. I don’t see the Bruins repeating their success of last season.

Florida Panthers

Outside of the big 3 in the division the Florida Panthers are likely the only other team in the division that could make the playoffs as a wild card team. The Panthers are +1300 to win the division, +2000 to win the Eastern conference and +4000 to win the Stanley Cup. The Florida Panthers barely missed the playoffs last season finishing 1 point behind the two wild card teams in the Columbus Blue Jackets and New Jersey Devils. They did a key free agent that should give them a boost offensively in Mike Hoffman, but are still lacking in the defensive department. I look for the Panthers to challenge for one of the two wild card spots, but I don’t see them winning the division.

Toronto Maple Leafs Division Champs

The pick to win the Atlantic Division is the Toronto Maple Leafs. The signing of John Tavares gives the Maple Leafs arguable the best depth in the NHL and they should be among the top goal scoring teams in the NHL and if they are able to get any kind of defensive production they will win the division and will likely be the favorite to win the Stanley Cup.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook
Bet $5+ on Lions vs. Packers and Receive $200 in Bonus Bets!

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account

Bet $5 on any sporting event

Receive $200 in Bonus Bets

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. 21+
Bet $1 and Get $365 in Bonus Bets!

Register for a new bet365 account

Place qualifying bets of $1 or more

Get $365 in bonus bets - no matter if your bet wins or loses

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. 21+. Physically present in OH, CO, NJ, VA, IA. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Opt-in req. Valid 1 per customer.
Bet $5 on Lions vs. Packers, Get $200 in Bonus Bets Instantly + Up to $150 in No Sweat Bets!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any sports market and get $200 in bonus bets instantly

Plus up to $150 back in bonus bets if your team loses!

Gambling Problem? Call 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (CO/IL/IN/LA/MD/MI/NJ/PA/TN/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA). 21+ (18+ WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/KS/LA(select parishes)/MD/MI/NJ/NY/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Void in OH/ONT. Eligibility restrictions apply. Valid 1 per new customer. Min. $5 deposit. Min. $5 bet. $200 issued as bonus bets that expire 7 days (168 hours) after being awarded. See terms at sportsbook.draftkings.com.
Caesars Sportsbook
$1,000 First Bet on Caesars for Lions vs. Packers!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account and Place your 1st wager of $10 or more

Place your first wager of $50 or more and get $50 bonus bet upon settlement of your first wager

You will receive an additional $50 bonus bet each subsequent Monday

21+. New users and first wager only. Must register with eligible promo code. Bet amount of qualifying wager returned only if wager is settled as a loss. Min. bet $50; must be used within 14 days of receipt. See Caesars.com/promos for full terms. Void where prohibited. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Get $1,500 Paid Back in Bonus Bets if you Don't Win Your First Bet on Lions vs. Packers!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,500!

Get refunded up to $1,500 in bonus bets if you don't win

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER CO, IL, IN, LA, MD, MS, NJ, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY, MA 21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). Visit BetMGM.com for Terms & Conditions. US promotional offers not available in DC, Nevada, New York or Ontario
Bet $50, Get $111 in Fred Bets + Up To $1,000 Back!

Sign up for a new account with Betfred Sports and make your first deposit

Place a $50 wager on any sport

Get $111 in Fred Bets + Up To $1,000 Back in Losses over 5 Week!

Must be 21+. T&Cs apply. Wagers only accepted in CO, AZ, IA, OH, VA, MD. Full terms available from Betfred Sports.
Get Up To $1,000 in Second Chance Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

If any of your first 10 cash bets lose (first bet per day for 10 days)

You will receive Bonus Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $100 each.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. 21+. Physically present in. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Opt-in req. Valid 1 per customer.
Get up to $500 Back in Bonus Bets if your First Bet Doesn't Win

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code SPORTS

Make your first deposit & and bet up to $500

If your first bet loses, get up to $500 back in bonus bets

Must be 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF
Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus

Create a new DraftKings Sportsbook account and make your first deposit (min $5)

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.
Underdog Fantasy
First deposit is 100% matched up to $500 with Underdog Fantasy!

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $500) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply
By signing up you agree to our terms and privacy policy