The Atlantic Division is one with a solid foundation in the tradition of the game. The Canadiens are the only NHL team that’s been perpetually present, keeping the same name since the NHL was founded in 1917. The Toronto Maple Leafs were also there, but they existed as the Arenas (1917-19) and St. Patricks (1919-27) before becoming the Maple Leafs in February of 1927. Likewise, there was an Ottawa Senators franchise when the NHL opened play in 1917, but that club was gone by 1934 and the current edition of the Senators wasn’t born until 1992.
While not original NHL teams, other Atlantic Division franchises brought about league firsts The Boston Bruins became the NHL’s first American-based franchise when they came aboard in 1924. The Tampa Bay Lightning, who joined with the second coming of the Senators in 1992, where the first NHL franchise based in Florida. And when the Detroit Red Wings joined the NHL as the Cougars in 1926, they brought about a curious first. With no suitable arena in the Motor City, Detroit played all its home games at Border Cities Arena in Windsor, Ont., becoming the only team in a major North American pro sports league to play an entire slate of home games in a foreign country.
Atlantic Division Betting Lines Today
Take a look at all the Atlantic Division betting lines and keep close tabs on the game schedule so you know what bets you’re going to make well in advance.
The Atlantic Division can boast of a feat that no other NHL division can lay claim to. Every member of the division has played in the Stanley Cup final, the vast majority of which having won the Stanley Cup.
The Montreal Canadiens own a record 24 Stanley Cup titles and actually won the trophy for the first time in 1915-16, two seasons prior to the birth of the NHL. The Toronto Maple Leafs, as the Arenas, were the first NHL team to win the Stanley Cup. The Boston Bruins became the first American-based NHL team to play in a Cup final series in 1926-27 and two years later, defeated the New York Rangers to capture the first all-American Stanley Cup final round.
In 1935-36 and 1936-37, the Detroit Red Wings were the first American-based NHL club to capture consecutive Stanley Cup crowns. And in 2003-04, the Tampa Bay Lightning were the first NHL team from Florida to win the Stanley Cup.
The Buffalo Sabres (1974-75, 1998-99), Florida Panthers (1995-96) and the current Ottawa Senators (2006-07) have played in a Cup final series but have yet to earn the right to lift Lord Stanley’s mug aloft.
Atlantic Division Standings Right Now
The up to the minute NHL Atlantic Division standings are right here and this is a division rife with both traditional and evolving rivalries.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens are hockey’s longest and most compelling rivalry, though people on the Ontario-Michigan border will tell you that the battle between the Leafs and Detroit Red Wings is equally intense. Likewise, Habs fans are just as passionate about their distaste for the Boston Bruins and Bruins fans would tell you the feeling is mutual.
The arrival of the Buffalo Sabres in 1970 created an instant geographic rivarly with the Maple Leafs, while Ottawa’s return to the NHL fray in 1992 reignited tensions with the Leafs and Habs formed decades earlier during a bygone era.
By returning to the East, the Wings are once again brewing up a distaste for the Bruins and Habs, while playoff series in consecutive years against the Tampa Bay Lightning have also created heat between Detroit and Tampa Bay. The Lightning and Florida Panthers carry on their own rivalry within the confines of the Sunshine State.
How To Win At Atlantic Division Betting
For years the Detroit Red Wings, who’ve made the Stanley Cup playoffs every season since 1990-91, followed a patient approach to team building. They allowed prospects to ripen on the vine, never promoting them to the NHL until they were in a sense over ready for the responsiblity that lay ahead.
When he took over as GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2010, longtime Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman implemented a similar formula with the Lightning and it’s allowed Tampa Bay to develop into the best team in the Atlantic Division.
Much of the nucleus of Tampa Bay’s team won an AHL Calder Cup title together while growing and maturing into a group that was ready to take the NHL by storm when they arrived en masse to the show.
The bottom of the Atlantic Division looks to be brewing up a bright future. The Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t seen much is the way of positive excitement recently but both teams look to be trending upward.
The Sabres are absolutely loaded with young talent and are deep down the middle with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart slotted right behind veteran Ryan O’Reilly. It doesn’t hurt their chances that they added a Stanley Cup-winning coach in Dan Bylsma.
The Leafs also picked up a Cup-winning coach in Mike Babcock and they are steadily stockpiling young talent, with Nazem Kadri and Morgan Rielly in place and the likes of Mitch Marner, William Nylander and much more soon to be arriving in Toronto.
Like the Lightning, the Leafs put an ex-Red Wing in charge and team president Brendan Shanahan is adamant that Toronto will build slowly and patiently, following the Detroit model and won’t make blockbuster deals in search of a quick fix.