Who is the best offensive team in the East?
By: The NHL Nosebleed Team
Peter Bolt - Toronto Maple Leafs
If you asked me this question before July 1st I would have said the Tampa Bay Lightning, but after signing John Tavares I have to say the Leafs. The Leafs put up 277 goals last year, tied for second in the league with the Winnipeg Jets in goals for. The Leafs offense is skilled, explosive, and extremely fast. No lead against this team is safe and we saw that numerous times last season. Between Nylander, Matthews, Marner, Marleau, and Kadri, someone was always able to step up and bury the puck when needed. Although the club did lose Bozak and JVR, the addition of John Tavares greatly outweighs the loss of those two. If Matthews didn’t miss 20 games last year they would have scored 290+.
Chris Yackel - Tampa Bay Lightning
Although the Tampa Bay Lightning fell just one game short of the Stanley Cup Final last season, they still had a juggernaut of a year offensively. They had the most goals in the NHL with 296, the next closest teams were the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets with 277. They have most of their lineup from last year returning which means Kucherov, Stamkos and company will have another boom in offensive statistics. However, it's not just Kucherov and Stamkos leading the charge, the Lightning have tons of depth as all four lines can score. I expect this lineup to do a lot of the same things if not more offensively.
Colin Noonan - Tampa Bay Lightning
In terms of high-end talent, Toronto and Tampa are very close. Where Tampa gets the edge for me is that they have pretty much unmatched depth offensively. Stamkos and Kucherov get the headlines but aside from them you have players like Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, JT Miller, and hipster Calder vote getter Yanni Gourde. Oh by the way, they also have one of the game’s best offensive defensemen in Victor Hedman. This team is the definition of an embarrassment of riches and it’s kinda bananas this core hasn’t won the big one yet.
Kevin Ebert - Toronto Maple Leafs
In the East, it’s clearly between the Leafs and Lightning when it comes to scoring. I give the edge to Toronto, only because of #91 coming to town. Having Matthews, Tavares and Kadri down the middle is insane. Not only that, but having Marner, Marleau and Nylander add to the explosiveness of this team. Expect to see this team have a solid chance to break 300 goals this season and be one of the top teams in the league.
Jack Fenty - Boston Bruins
The B’s finished with 270 goals last season, only 26 behind the league leaders the Tampa Bay Lightning. Only two other teams in the East finished higher in goals than the Bruins. They have the best first line in hockey consisting of Marchand, Pastrnak, and Bergeron; those three players put up 228 points combined in the regular season and 53 points in only two rounds of the playoffs before being knocked out by the Lightning. Obviously this line is unreal, but the depth behind that first line and defense add another element to the offensive firepower on this team. Players such as DeBrusk, Donato, Heinen, and when healthy Anders Bjork are players looking to break onto the scene and that breakout will come offensively. Just this morning DeBrusk scored a beauty goal in China from a great play by Ryan Donato. Regarding the defense the Bruins have Chuckie McAvoy, the Long Island kid himself, and now veteran Torey Krug. Both players put up huge offensive numbers last year and I see McAvoy at the least approving on his point total. I expect the Bruins scoring to increase to around 290 goals this upcoming season, but the real question is will that be enough to outscore the Leafs and Lightning? That we will have to wait and see...
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