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Possible New Divisions for the 2021 NHL Season

Yesterday, ESPN writer Greg Wyshynski released an article discussing the probable new divisions for the 2020-2021 NHL season.

 

The changes will aim to minimize the risk of COVID-19, making travel less difficult for teams.

 

 

It looks like the Canadian teams could be entirely separate from their American opponents.

 

So, what does this mean for the Bruins specifically? The Bruins currently play in the Atlantic Division with the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maples Leafs.

 

It won’t be the same without the Canadiens and Maple Leafs, their biggest division rivals. However, this division switch up could actually be beneficial for the Bruins. Their track record against the new eastern teams is pretty impressive. The Hurricanes have been a growing rival of the Bruins for the past couple of years. In August, they defeated the Hurricanes in the first round of the postseason 4 games to 1. The Bruins also eliminated them in the 2019 playoffs.

 

I’m glad the Lightning have been removed from the division considering they’re the defending Stanley Cup champions. They are also extremely frustrating to play against, so seeing them less is a good thing, even though the rivalry against them has become extremely heated in recent years which usually makes for exciting, physical games.

 

The only teams I would worry about are the Capitals and Flyers. On the bright side, goaltender Braden Holtby is no longer a Capital. He signed with the Vancouver Canucks this offseason. Holtby has always been a real threat and an elite goaltender. The Capitals struggled this postseason, and without their star goalie, it’s difficult to say if they’ll perform up to par this coming season. The Flyers are a force to be reckoned with, especially with young goaltender Carter Hart. He had a .926 save percentage this postseason and a .914 during the regular season. The Flyers finished second in the metropolitan division this year, just behind the Capitals.

 

Overall, the Bruins have the upper hand against these teams. Throughout the 2019-2020 season, the B’s are 13-1-5 against them. I like their chances, and I’m hopeful this new format will keep the players safe during this seemingly never-ending pandemic.

 

– Caylee Allard (@2kaRask)

 

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