The NHL's Atlantic Division could also be called the league's old-school division, since it houses four of the league's Original Six franchises - the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. Add in the second coming of the Ottawa Senators, who were an original NHL franchise in their first rendition from 1917-34, and the Buffalo Sabres, part of the league since 1970, and what you find are plenty of exciting and intense rivalries of both the traditional and geographical variety.
The new kids on the block in this group - the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers - might not have the tradition of the other clubs, but they have a heated cross-state rivarly and even though they've only been on the scene since the early 1990s, both have played in the Stanley Cup final and Tampa Bay lifted Lord Stanley's mug in 2004.
Best NHL Atlantic Division Betting Lines
When the Boston Bruins play the Montreal Canadiens, their place in the standings is irrelevant. The same holds true when the Canadiens tangle with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Or when the Leafs battle the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres or Ottawa Senators. It's no different when the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning face off.
With so many heated rivalries compressed into one division, betting on these games is quite the task. It requires a sharp mind, attention to detail and plenty of intense study. Throw out much of the traditional wagering logic and watch for subtle items that can make a difference in the outcome of a game. Is one team going with a back-up goalie? Are they playing on back-to-back nights, or for the third time in four nights?
Look for teams with strong power plays facing teams that are prone to undisciplined play. And always pay attention to the daily injury report. With so much passion and tradiiton in many of the these games, one key injury can make the difference and bring about a pay day for you.
What Are The Atlantic Division Standings
These are the Atlantic Division standings. Check them religiously, because in today's salary-cap driven NHL, parity is the order of the day and things change quickly.
Watch closely to see which teams are more successful at home and which teams bring it when they are playing on the road. A good road team can bring you a solid wagering return.
With goals at a premium around the league, defense is often the key to success, as our teams that are storng on the penalty kill, because winning the special teams battle is usually what wins the day in today's NHL. Check which teams are strong and good rule of thumb is to add a team's power play and penalty kill ranking numbers together. If it comes out to 10 or less, then you are looking at a club that's going to win more often than not and that's a good bet.
Atlantic Division Betting Tips
If you like old-school hockey and rivalries rich in tradition and success, then the Atlantic Division is the division for you. Every one of its teams have played in the Stanley Cup final, a fact the no other division in the NHL can lay claim to. Atlantic Division teams have won the Stanley Cup in every decade of NHL competiition. In fact, the Montreal Canadiens won their first Stanley Cup in 1916, two seasons before the NHL was formed.
In Stanley Cup final play, Detroit and Toronto have met seven times. Montreal and Toronto have faced each other five times, while Boston and Montreal have met on seven occasions. The Canadiens and Red Wings have battled with the Cup on the line five times, while the Red Wings and Bruins fought for the title twice.
The NHL's first 50-goal scorer (Montreal's Rocket Richard, 1944-45) and 100-point scorer (Phil Esposito, 1968-69) both played for Atlantic Division franchises.
As division rivals, they aren't eligible to face each other for all the marbles any more, but the pasison and intensity built from those decades of tradition make for outstanding hockey and that leads to some opportunistic wagering for the smart bettor.
The Atlantic Division isn't currently one of the best in the NHL, but each team is still competitive in their own way. The Maple Leafs are the most promising young team in the division and should be forerunners for seasons to come. They are chock-full of young talent and are a team that will surely develop as a unit. Maple Leafs' fans have waited a long time for success but that anguishing wait will be over soon.
The Habs rely too heavily on netminder Carey Price while the Bruins' best players are coming to the twilight of their careers. Buffalo promises to challenge the Leafs in the next few years, while Ottawa have a competitive bunch of guys.
However, the Sens don't have as much young promise as the Sabres or Leafs. The Red Wings missed the playoffs for the first time in 25 years and are in the embryonic stages of a rebuild, while the Lightning should be good for the next few years, if they can avoid the injury bug that is.
Take into account team's Corsi Effect and Adjusted Efficiency Margins befofe placing your wagers as these are valuable analtyics which will allow you to gain an edge on the sportsbooks.