Welcome to the first Atlantic Division Weekly Snapshot for the 2013 season. It's early, but our favorite team leads the Atlantic in the first full week (plus one day) of the schedule.
(updated 1.26.2013 at 11:15 PM EST)
The New Jersey Devils can claim to have a hold on the division lead for at least this first weekly post. They had three games, they won them all, and they have an advantage in games in hand over their two most hated rivals. You can't ask for much better than that from a results standpoint. The rest of the Atlantic, well, they all have four points each. So do four other teams in the Eastern Conference. The only difference right now is either ROW, games played, or goal differential. It's that last issue that has Philly above the Rangers at this very moment actually.
No one should really sweat the conference positions now anyway. Besides, there's a silver lining to all four of the Atlantic Division teams that lost at least two games already. Both the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers can breathe easier after dropping games early anyway. The New York Islanders can do so as well, and ahead of their cross-city rivals. The Pittsburgh Penguins were shocked a bit after starting off well, but they're not in any real trouble.
|Potential Points||Last Week||Conf. Position|
This coming week will be a grind for everyone in the division. The Devils, Penguins, and Flyers will play four games while the two New York teams will get three. By next Sunday, New Jersey will still have at least one game in hand on everyone. I wouldn't expect their winning streak to continue but it's a better starting position to be leading than catching up. I wouldn't say it's all that advantageous. With the compressed, inter-conference only schedule, there will be plenty of inter-division games where ground can be made up somewhat quickly. On the flipside, it can also extend leads. It all depends on what happens in those games. Here's a look at the upcoming weekly schedule for all five teams in the Atlantic:
|NJD||@ MTL||@ BOS||vs. NYI||@ PIT|
|PIT||@ OTT||vs. NYI||@ NYR||vs. NJD|
|NYI||@ WPG||@ PIT||@ NJD|
|PHI||@ TBL||@ NYR||@ WSH||vs. CAR|
|NYR||vs. PHI||vs. PIT||@ TBL|
The Devils and Penguins get to "enjoy" games every other night while the Flyers get a little two-day break amid their road trip before a back-to-back that ends with a home game. Those three, among others, will have to get used to playing all of these games. The Rangers will get some time off now, whereas the Islanders will get it later.
Four inter-division games stand out in this week and two involve New Jersey. The Devils will get the Islanders on Thursday and I'm sure the Royal Blue & Orange crew would like some revenge for the season opener. The Devils get the Penguins right at the end of this week for an afternoon game which will also have some impact on the Atlantic. The Rangers also have two games within the Atlantic. The Rangers and Flyers get matched-up again and I'm sure some of those bad feelings from their game this past Thursday will continue on Tuesday. That's followed up by a Rangers-Penguins game on Thursday. There's plenty of potential for chaos within the standings this week.
Of course, almost everyone plays tonight so we could see some movement quite soon. What do you think will happen in the Atlantic in this coming week? Will the Devils stay on top or will there be