ATLANTIC

October 06, 2014

BREAKOUT PLAYER

NICK BJUGSTAD

PANTHERS

The 6'6" second-year center is only 22 and is still putting on muscle, but he's already hard to knock off the puck. With veteran help from new teammate Jussi Jokinen, Bjugstad should improve on his 38-point rookie season, when he scored 16 goals.

HOT SEAT

RANDY CARLYLE

MAPLE LEAFS

Last season's late collapse left a cloud over the NHL's most valuable franchise. In 2013, Carlyle led Toronto to its only playoff appearance in the last nine seasons, but that won't count for much if the Leafs start slowly.

HIDDEN GEM

KYLE TURRIS

SENATORS

At 25, Turris is a crafty, steady center whose improvement has been lost amid Ottawa's struggles. Last season he scored 26 goals, chipped in 32 assists and had a +22 rating on a team that gave up 29 more goals than it scored. He hasn't missed a game in more than two years.

IN THE CREASE

BY PIERRE MCGUIRE

If the lightning are going to take a step forward, their blueliners must play with more consistency. That begins with two-way defenseman VICTOR HEDMAN, who needs to start taking over games. He has the ability. Former Rangers center Brian Boyle will stabilize a penalty kill that ranked 23rd last year.... Canadiens coaches want to move winger Alex Galchenyuk, the No. 3 pick in 2012, to center, where they feel that, with his vision and creativity, he can be a massive point producer.... No team in the East allowed more goals last year than the Panthers (262). The team spent lots of cash on free agents this summer, but for Florida to have any shot at the playoffs, goalie Roberto Luongo must play as he did during his best years with the Canucks.

PHOTOELIOT J. SCHECHTER/NHLI/GETTY IMAGES (BJUGSTAD) PHOTOMARK LOMOGLIO/ICON SPORTSWIRE (HEDMAN)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)