2013-14 NHL Predictions: Preview and Picks for Atlantic Division

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2013-14 NHL Predictions: Preview and Picks for Atlantic Division
Vincent Pugliese/Getty Images

The NHL's Northeast Division was perhaps the league's best last year.

Four of the division's teams—the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs—made the playoffs last season.

That division remains intact along with the additions of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers. And one other team—the Detroit Red Wings.

After decades of toiling in the Western Conference, the Red Wings join a division that includes three of their Original Six rivals, and they get to play the large majority of their games in the Eastern Time Zone. That's what the Red Wings have wanted for years.

While the Red Wings will be newcomers, don't expect them to be polite. They struggled most of the 2012-13 season before turning it on at the end of the year, making the playoffs and advancing to the conference semifinal round where they extended the eventual-champion Chicago Blackhawks to overtime in the seventh game.

The Boston Bruins could not push the Blackhawks to that level in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Bruins, Red Wings, Canadiens, Senators and Maple Leafs appear to be the division's best at the start of the season.

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