In 2012-13, the Boston Bruins will take aim at their third straight and 25th all-time Northeast Division crown. The black and gold juggernaut's recent dominance could be hard to stop.
The Bruins cruised to the division crown last season with 102 points. Erik Karlsson and the Ottawa Senators surprised with a second-place finish, 10 points behind Boston. Buffalo missed the playoffs with 89 points, receiving a poor season from Ryan Miller. Toronto and Montreal each stumbled to disappointing records and rounded out the bottom of the division.
With just a single 100-point team last year, the Northeast division is far from the class of the Eastern Conference. It will likely offer an easier route to the playoffs than the Atlantic, which had four teams win at least 48 games last season.
Boston powered through their divisional foes with a 19-4-1 record, a number made even more impressive in light of the brutal Stanley Cup hangover that caused the Bruins to lose seven of their first 10 games. With an extended offseason, the Bruins should have little trouble matching that success once again this year.