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Early season takeaways from the East Division

February 18, 2021, 12:17 PM ET [11 Comments]
HockeyBuzz Hotstove
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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our early season takeaways from the East Division.

Todd Cordell

Charlie McAvoy is a legitimate Norris contender.

With Torey Krug’s departure, there is more offensive opportunity available for defenders in Boston. I predicted McAvoy would be in the mix if he could take advantage of that and produce more offense. To date, he has done just that.

McAvoy has amassed 11 points in 14 games thus far. That equates to 64 points over a full 82-game season. While that level of production is unrealistic, his outputs on a per game basis seem like a safe bet to increase this season.

More production coupled with stout defensive play – Boston is allowing just 46 attempts and 1.82 expected goals per 60 with McAvoy on the ice at 5v5 – will give McAvoy a very real chance at picking up some hardware.

Sean Maloughney

For me it has to be how utterly meh the New York Rangers have been. The Rangers rebuild was looking to be trending up even before they won the lottery to select Alexis Lafreniere but despite that no one on this roster seems to be able to score.

After posting two back to back 70+ point seasons including a 41 goal campaign last year, Zibanejad has 3 points in 14 games and a 2.3Sh%. Lafreniere has a single goal and no assists, Kaapo Kakko is still not trending in the right direction, Trouba has only 3 assists. The East Division is a tough gig with the likes of the Bruins, Islanders, Flyers, Caps, and Pens all fighting it out but I expected the Rangers to make more noise than they have thus far.

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