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The Pittsburgh Penguins will win the Atlantic Division, which will be the most competitive of all NHL divisions this season.
The New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders will give the Penguins a run for their money, but the Penguins will prevail.
The reason being… Sidney Crosby.
Without Crosby for almost all of the past two seasons the Penguins have found themselves as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference twice. In 2011 they finished in second by the means of a tiebreaker to the Flyers, and last year, they were only one point behind the Eastern Conference Champion, New York Rangers.
If they can play that well without the best player in the game, then imagine what they can do with him healthy.
In the 63 games that Crosby has played in over the past two seasons, he has recorded 103 points.
The team that will give the Penguins the biggest challenge will be the New York Rangers. After acquiring Rick Nash in the offseason the Rangers have been called the best team on paper coming into this season.
While that may be true, the best team on paper is not always the best team on the ice. Nash won’t have much time to adjust to the Rangers play, and although the Rangers are on the verge of becoming the best team in the NHL, they are not there just yet.