The first half of the 2021-2022 NHL season has been especially unusual with wide-ranging postponements and rescheduled games, and there are several surprising developments as the midpoint of the season approaches. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights are all predictably sitting atop their divisions, but the New York Rangers have remained ahead of the pack in the Metro Division despite having extremely long odds to do so before the year began. There are also a handful of surprising teams in playoff contention in the Western Conference – most notably the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks – but the Stanley Cup futures odds still reflect much of the same trends as they did before the season began. As it stands, the Avalanche, Knights, Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers make up the top five current favorites to win this season’s Stanley Cup.
The NHL awards races are still very much up for grabs in just about every category with roughly half of the season already complete, and while Connor McDavid is still the favorite for the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP) there are now several players that have emerged as viable candidates. McDavid’s lead has diminished with his odds shifting from +150 to +180 and the biggest mover is Alex Ovechkin who has overtaken second place at +350. Leon Draisaitl is still in the mix but has fallen behind Ovechkin at +450, while Auston Matthews has spent much of the season in fourth and is at +1200. The newcomer to this conversation is Jonathan Huberdeau, who is down to just +1800 while carrying much of the scoring for the surging Florida Panthers. The leaders for the other awards include Igor Shesterkin for the Vezina Trophy (+330), Cale Makar for the Norris Trophy (+175) and Trevor Zegras for the Calder Trophy (+150).
The 2021-2022 NHL regular season begins on Tuesday Oct. 12.
There are 32 NHL teams for the 2021-2022 season.
The 2021-2022 NHL standings will have an Eastern Conference and a Western Conference. The Eastern Conference will include the Atlantic Division and the Metropolitan Division, and the Western Conference will include the Central Division and the Pacific Division.
The Tampa Bay Lightning won the 2020-2021 Stanley Cup.
Eight teams from each conference will make the 2021-2022 NHL Playoffs, for a total of 16 teams.
Each NHL team is scheduled to play 82 games for the 2021-2022 regular season.
The 2021-2022 NHL trade deadline is set for Mar. 21 2022.
The 2021-2022 NHL Playoffs are scheduled to start on May 2 2022.
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