We’re less than 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, with rookie tournaments kicking off to showcase the young players in the organization. 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, 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.
Next we asked the PHR community to vote on the Pacific Division, and while things were a little more evenly distributed the San Jose Sharks were still the clear favorite. With more than 26% of the vote, the Sharks came out ahead of the Los Angeles Kings (16%), Vegas Golden Knights (14%) and Calgary Flames (13%). The Arizona Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks haven’t done enough to inspire much confidence, earning just a handful of votes each.
The Metropolitan Division might be the most difficult to predict, but perhaps the most important given that it has taken home the last three Stanley Cups. The Pittsburgh Penguins are the only team with an over/under above 100 at 103.5, but the Philadelphia Flyers (98.5), Washington Capitals (98.5) and Columbus Blue Jackets (97.5) are all right in the mix. It might be tough for the other teams to jump all the way to the top, but there is real talent still in Carolina and both New York teams. The New Jersey Devils, despite making the playoffs last year, have just a 91.5 over/under and find themselves right on the bubble of the postseason predictions.
Who do you think will come out on top of the Metropolitan Division? Can Washington keep the motor running and ride their Stanley Cup high all the way to another division title? Will the Penguins reassert themselves as a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference? Can Philadelphia stay healthy enough to challenge for the crown? Cast your vote below and explain how you think the season will play out in the comments!
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Jackets will run away with the division convincing preferably panarin more than bob that Columbus is the only place you will have great success
This is a joke right?
It must be. I see no way the jackets will run away with the division unless every star player for the pens and caps get injured. Even if that did happen I still think the pens and caps are better.
I don’t honk it’s farfetched, though. I could realistically see any of those three taking the division this year.
I honestly don’t even consider the jackets to even have a chance at anything higher than 3rd, let alone “run away with the division” without their best skater and star goalie
Who you callin’ a honky?
Let’s go Pens.
It’s going to come down to the wire between the pens and the caps.
It’s gunna be the caps and pens fighting for the top, just like every single year. It could go either way but I’m going to say the pens only because they had the better offseason.
The Met division is the best by far with great rivalries and all out war when teams go head to head. Don’t mind everyone selling the Devils short because of their youth. Blazing speed though so I think they will be in the thick of things.