I think the most fan friendly change this year is playing a home and away with every team in the other conference. The Sharks first Eastern Conference foe this year is the New York Rangers on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at the SAP Center.
Now that the Sharks play every team in the East twice this year, what should we expect from the Eastern Conference in the 2013-14 season?
Four of the Original 6 teams reside in the Atlantic Division and it’s possible all of them make the playoffs – they all did last year however Detroit was in the West.
Boston, Detroit, Ottawa and Toronto should all make the playoffs, barring significant injuries although that didn’t stop Ottawa last year.
Montreal and Tampa Bay are my tweeners meaning if they get on a roll could make a push to make the playoffs or just miss out.
I don’t see how Florida and Buffalo can make the playoffs this year. Florida is intriguing and could be a tweener if they get great goaltending.
This division might be the most wide open of the four in the NHL and watch for lots of changes in the standings throughout the course of the year.
Pittsburgh is in regardless of how their goaltending holds up.
This could be called the tweener division because a minimum of 2 of the ‘other teams’ will make the playoffs. Of the tweeners I think the teams with the best chance to make the playoffs are Columbus, NY Islanders and Washington. The other teams who will push for a playoff spot are the Rangers and Carolina.
New Jersey and Philadelphia will miss the post season this year.