Hockey Correspondent, White Cover Magazine
*These are my previews for every NHL division and my predictions of what lies ahead for all five teams of all six divvies in this shortened, 48-game regular season. I intend to keep each team’s summary to two sentences or less. Not because I’m succinct or concise, but because I’m tired and lazy and I don’t want to write very much.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Is everyone rooting for them yet? The Maple Leafs seem to be finally doing the things the right way, but only in the five days since Brian Burke left the team. That’s not a shot to Burke, but Dave Nonis is much more clever and calculating than people think.
Ottawa Senators: They were arguably the surprise team of the NHL last season, and the Senators could be primed for another great run with a re-invigorated Kyle Turris and an almost Hart-worthy year from Jason Spezza in 2012.
Boston Bruins: Chicago 2.0? Everyone seems to forget about the Big Bad Bruins, who are indeed Big and Bad… and Bruin-y. If Tuukka Rask shows up to work, the Bruins will pick up right where they left off.
Buffalo Sabres: Losing Derek Roy is big, but there’s still enough in Buffalo to turn a 48-game season into a star-making turn.
Montreal Canadiens: Just get better soon. We’re tired of your whining.
1. Boston Bruins
2. Ottawa Senators
3. Buffalo Sabres
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
5. Montreal Canadiens
Another division completely up for grabs. Well, at least between second, third, and fourth. The Bruins are beyond a doubt the strongest team in the Northeast, but it certainly wouldn’t be a shock to see either Buffalo or Ottawa make a push, and you can’t underestimate the strong-starting Leafs in a shortened season.