Friday, April 10, 2009

Atlantic Cruise Control

For the third consecutive season, the Atlantic Division will send four teams to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Flyers, Penguins, Devils, and Rangers are the same foursome as last year, with the Islanders making it over the Flyers in 2007. The Atlantic Division made history in 2008 by being the first Eastern Conference division to send four teams in back to back years, and makes even more history this season by being the first team in either conference to do it three seasons in a row.

The Atlantic Division also is the only division never to have sent fewer than three teams to the playoffs in any season. This compares pretty favorably to the Southeast, who has never sent more than two teams to the playoffs in any season.

The Atlantic Division carried their tradition of regular season domination into the playoffs last season, with none of the four Atlantic Division squads losing a series to a non-Atlantic team in the Eastern Conference playoffs. In the playoffs, the Atlantic teams went a combined 12-4, with Pittsburgh sweeping Ottawa and the Flyers ousting the champions of both the Northeast and Southeast in five and seven games, respectively.

Congratulations, Atlantic Division. You're pretty damn good at this sport. And to the Islanders, least you'll get a decent draft pick?

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