We’re just over a month away from the 2018-19 NHL season, and players are hitting the ice with teammates to start forming chemistry. All over the league there are individual workouts underway, and rookie tournament rosters being announced. The excitement for the upcoming season is starting to bubble up to the surface, and even the smallest NHL news has fans in a frenzy.
Recently, Bovada released their over/under numbers for each team’s point totals and there are some interesting results. Though these aren’t to be taken exactly as predictions for the upcoming season—since betting odds also take into account popularity trends and other factors—fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning should still be extremely satisfied to see their club at the very top with an over/under of 107.5 points. The Lightning are expected to be Stanley Cup contenders once again in 2018-19, and have brought back nearly their entire roster.
We ran a poll asking the PHR community to decide who will win the Atlantic Division last week, and the Lightning came out on top with nearly 37% of the vote. The Toronto Maple Leafs finished in second place, but the big surprise was the Detroit Red Wings in third with 15% of all voters. While our readers have more confidence in the Red Wings than the odds makers, we’ve seen stranger things in the past.
The odds though tell an interesting story in the Pacific Division.
The Vegas Golden Knights won the division easily last season with 109 points, finishing at 51-24-7 in their inaugural season. They rode that dominance all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, and yet aren’t the clear leader this time around. Vegas is tied with the Anaheim Ducks at a 96.5 point over/under, but actually a point behind the San Jose Sharks who come in at 97.5. Los Angeles, Calgary and Edmonton don’t lag far behind, making this one of the most interesting divisions in hockey to watch this season.
Who do you think will come out on top of the Pacific Division this year? Can Edmonton bounce back from a disastrous 2017-18? Will Marc-Andre Fleury lead the Golden Knights back to the top? Can the Coyotes go from worst to first in one season? Cast your vote below and explain how you think the season will play out in the comments!
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