by Dan Adkisson
2021-2022 NHL Odds and Predictions
As the NHL preseason has rolled in, it might be the best time to discuss and predict how the competition will turn up in the new season. We have taken a closer look at the preparation for what’s coming in the NHL, including the regular season and all the moves teams made over the summer. With that in mind, we now have updated 2021-2022 NHL odds and predictions, based upon various offseason business and recent performance.
Top 5 Best Odds to Win Stanley Cup
First, let’s observe the best odds for the 2022 Stanley Cup winner compiled from the best online sports betting companies. The top five contenders look a little like this:
Colorado Avalance +550
Tampa Bay Lightning +625
Vegas Golden Knights +750
Toronto Maple Leafs +1200
Boston Bruins +1400
The Colorado Avalanche were the favorite to win the Stanley Cup most recently, before they were beaten in a 7-game thriller against Vegas Golden Knights during the last playoffs. The Avalanche and Golden Knights are still among the top contenders for the new season due to their elite squads full of talented individuals. The two-time reigning champions, Tampa Bay Lightning, also emerge as a strong contender this season with their ambition to retain the title.
Preseason & Regular Season
NHL preseason commenced on September 25 and wraps up on October 9, 2021. Immediately following the slew of preseason games, the regular season will begin – with a full slate of 82-games this season, running from October 12 through April 29.
This season, the NHL returns to its original form with the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Last season, there were small shifts in the format due to the pandemic. However, if the cross-border travel restrictions are still in effect during the season, the league will be forced to make another adjustment to cater to the Canadian teams.
As usual, only sixteen of the competing 32 teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs after the end of the regular season. Eight teams from each Conference, spread into two divisions, will make it into the postseason. The top three finishers from each Division will automatically qualify; meanwhile, the rest will be played by teams that receive Wild Card berths.
Wild Cards are for teams with the best regular season records. Two teams will be picked from each Conference. Therefore, it’s highly possible for a division to have a minimum of three and a maximum of five teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs will start in May 2022, just after the regular season wraps up. As for this season, there will be a minimal number of homestands with multiple games for teams in the same city playing the same opponent.
The Stanley Cup Finals & Winner Prediction
As discussed previously, five top contenders have been identified as having a real chance to win the 2022 Stanley Cup. Two-year consecutive winner, the Lightning, can never be ruled out of the possibility of a three-peat yet. Even while favorites like the Avalanche and Golden Knights look frightening this season, each with their rivalries in the Western Conference heating up.
A Stanley Cup Final between the Lightning and Avalanche gets the early hype with bookmakers price it at 15/1. Another hyped-up Stanley Cup Final is between the Lightning and Golden Knights, which is currently priced at 18/1. The Boston Bruins are still among the top contenders, even though their popularity has been surpassed by the top three. A Bruins vs. Avalanche Final is priced at 25/1 right now.
Boston will make a strong statement in the Eastern Conference and give a fierce fight against Tampa Bay. A Bruins vs. Lightning rivalry might not be as heated up as an Avalanche vs. Golden Knights rivalry this season. However, if the two should clash heavily, it might be a brooding fight to win a Division Double.
There might be a surprise hit coming from the Eastern Conference this season. The Toronto Maple Leafs leap in as a serious contender in the 2021-2022 season, even surprising the Bruins in the odds. However, more surprises might still happen out East, where teams like the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes could be lurking from beyond the hegemony of the Lightning.
Time to Place the Bets
Now that the power rankings are mapped out, it is safe to say that Tampa Bay Lightning is a safe bet as of now. Their consistency and resilience, along with their roster of elite talents, could be the ideal recipe to win the 2021-2022 NHL regular season.