from Mike Johnston of Sportsnet,
The Atlantic was the most top-heavy division in hockey one season ago. Tampa, Boston and Toronto are again among the odds-on favourites to win it all in 2019-20, however with Florida and Buffalo on the rise there should be more parity this time around.
With that in mind, here’s a look at best- and worst-case scenarios for each team in the Atlantic Division. (Teams are listed in the order in which we believe they’ll finish in the 2019 standings.)
Detroit Red Wings
Best-case scenario: Similar to recent rebuilds we’ve seen, the Red Wings’ on-ice product might not be easy to look at in the short term but the youthful core unveils to Yzerman its potential. It’s a prove it year from top to bottom throughout the organization. Diminutive winger Taro Hirose becomes a surprise Calder contender, Filip Hronek is breakout star, and they gain useful future assets when they part ways with some veterans ahead of the trade deadline.
Worst-case scenario: Subpar goaltending and questionable defensive depth has this young team playing from behind far too often, which skews how Yzerman assesses his roster. Frequent losses hurt the team’s collective confidence as the development of Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Bertuzzi stagnates.
the rest of the Atlantic Division...