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Atlantic Division Update: Stanley Cup Champion... Buffalo Sabres?

I thought this take was sarcasm but I’m not so sure anymore

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know how we got here, guys. Somehow, the Buffalo Sabres are good? Like, really good right now. They are currently on a nine game winning streak. What world are we living in? I wish I knew. Here’s what’s going on across the Atlantic.

First in the Atlantic: Tampa Bay Lightning

Games played: 24

Point leader: Nikita Kucherov

The Buffalo Sabres would be in first place in the division if it weren’t for the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. Out of the four games the Lightning played this week, they won three of them. They lost 3-2 to the Nashville Predators, but would go on to beat the Florida Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks, and New Jersey Devils the rest of the week.

Nikita Kucherov beat out Brayden Point for first place in point production. Though Point has 15 goals while Kucherov has nine, Kucherov has a total of 21 assists on the season to give him a total of 30 points. He had a total of seven assists this week alone! The Lightning have a strong offensive core that are providing them with a lot of point production so far this season.

Second in the Atlantic: Buffalo Sabres

Games played: 24

Point leader: Jack Eichel

The Buffalo Sabres are hot right now. Can you believe it? They are currently on a nine game winning streak. Some of their victims this week were the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, and Detroit Red Wings. Sure, two of those were OT wins, but a win is a win in this competitive of a division. There’s a similar point situation going on in Buffalo as there is in Tampa. Jack Eichel has five goals but 23 assists. Jeff Skinner leads the team in goals with 18 and only eight assists. Prior to Tampa’s victory over New Jersey, the Sabres sat on top of the NHL. This season is crazy, guys.

Third in the Atlantic: Toronto Maple Leafs

Games played: 24

Point leader: Mitch Marner

The loss of Auston Matthews to injury has allowed other members of the team to step up and produce points. Matthews is not just out of the top point producer spot, he also is out of the top four. His absence has allowed Mitch Marner, John Tavares, Morgan Rielly, and Kasperi Kapanen to step up to the plate. This week the Leafs won two of the four games they played. They lost to the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets, but beat the Blue Jackets once prior in the week. Their second win was a 6-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Apparently, William Nylander will have his contract issues figured out by the end of the week. Do you think it’ll actually happen? Will he be staying in Toronto? Who knows. What we do know is that the Bruins face them next. Hopefully they can capitalize on this organization as they attempt to finalize a frustrating contract dispute.

Fourth in the Atlantic: Your Boston Bruins!

Games played: 23

Point leader: David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron

Well, Patrice Bergeron is injured and expected to be out for at least four weeks, which is a huge blow. In his absence, David Pastrnak has tied his point record with a total of 26. The Bruins played three games this week. They lost the first in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings, won the second in OT to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and won the third on Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens. A win over the Habs feels just a little sweeter than any other win, doesn’t it? David Backes got on the board for the first time this season, while John Moore got his first goal as a Bruin and helped them beat the Habs on the power play. This week could have been a bit better, but we have a lot to celebrate! Here are the highlights from Saturday’s game to give you a nice start to your week.

Fifth in the Atlantic: Montreal Canadiens

Games played: 24

Point leader: Max Domi

The Montreal Canadiens lost four straight games this week, isn’t that a wonderful thing? The Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, and your Boston Bruins all beat the Habs this week. An American Thanksgiving miracle! It looks as though Shea Webber will be making his return to the Montreal lineup in the very near future. Do you think he will have a noticeable impact? The Habs are certainly not bad, they have one of the top lines in the NHL, but they are going through a rough patch. It’ll be interesting to see what his return will bring to Montreal.

Sixth in the Atlantic: Detroit Red Wings

Games played: 23

Point leader: Dylan Larkin

The Detroit Red Wings are no longer in last place. Good for them, I guess? Of the three games they played this week, one game went to OT, while the other went into a shootout. They beat the Bruins by a goal in OT, lost 3-1 to the Washington Capitals, and fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Buffalo Sabres. The Red Wings would be a more solid team if they could get their power play issues sorted. The power play that once brought them out of the hole they dug themselves has failed to produce goals moving into November. Dylan Larkin still leads the team in points with 20.

Seventh in the Atlantic: Ottawa Senators

Games played: 23

Point leader: Matt Duchene

Another week week full of Ottawa Senators drama. I’ll let Twitter tell you that story. Let’s focus on their hockey, which also hasn’t been too great. They played three games this week and lost every one of them. First to the last place Florida Panthers, second to the Minnesota Wild, and third to the Dallas Stars. All three teams scored a total of 19 goals against the Sens. It was a tough week on and off the ice for Ottawa.

Eighth in the Atlantic: Florida Panthers

Games played: 21

Point leader: Mike Hoffman

The Florida Panthers got their eighth win of the season this week against the Ottawa Senators. They beat them 7-5, which was a big deal for them. They lost 7-3 to the Lightning and 4-1 to the Hurricanes before heading to OT against the Chicago Blackhawks. That game wrapped up with a 5-4 Chicago victory. The Panthers tried, at least, right?