We’ve finally reached the end of the offseason and things kick off tonight in the NHL. The regular season begins in Toronto with a matchup between the Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators, while the St. Louis Blues will hang their banner against the 2018 champion Washington Capitals. The excitement for the upcoming season is palpable, with even the most minor transactions generating plenty of interest among hockey fans.
With that in mind we’ve been asking you, the PHR reader, to give us your thoughts on the upcoming season. We started with the Atlantic Division, which seemed an easy choice for a good chunk of our community. The Tampa Bay Lightning ran away with the poll, earning a whopping 46% of all votes. Next was the Metropolitan Division, which wasn’t quite as lopsided. The Washington Capitals were picked by 31% of the voters to take home their fifth consecutive division title, but the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders all got at least 10%.
The closest so far though goes to the Central Division, which is almost a dead heat between the Blues and Colorado Avalanche. Five teams received at least 10% of the vote, with only the Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Wild falling below that threshold. The Central looks like it will be a meat grinder right to the end, but the reigning Stanley Cup champions are at least slightly ahead right now.
Lastly we’ll look at the Pacific Division, which was filled with disappointment in 2018-19. Just three Western Conference playoff spots came out of the group, with the other five teams all recording 86 or fewer points in the regular season. This time around things might be different, but will the upstart Arizona Coyotes, Connor McDavid-led Edmonton Oilers or rebuilt Vancouver Canucks really be able to challenge for the top spot? Cast your vote below and explain how you think the season will play out!
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