Current Standings & Predictions for the 2022-23 NHL Playoffs
The NHL season is gearing up for another fantastic playoff run! The 2022 NHL season has been fantastic. With only a little time left in the NHL 2022 schedule, it’s time to look at which teams are in prime position for a Stanley Cup. In addition, it’s the perfect time to make some NHL season predictions to help you on your betting journey.
NHL Standings Thus Far
The Eastern Conference
The best team by far of the NHL 2022 season has been the Boston Bruins. They’ve even been on a historic pace. They became the fastest team in league history to reach 100 points in a season. The team has veteran stars like Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand and young talent like the newly acquired Tyler Bertuzzi. In net, Linus Ullmark is having his best season and is the heavy favorite to win the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender. In short, they are the team to beat.
Following them are the Carolina Hurricanes. The ’Canes have been regular-season beasts for the last few years, but they have been unable to get over the hump. They will need their goaltender Frederik Andersen to step up if they want to get past the Bruins. One of the biggest surprises of the entire league is the New Jersey Devils. Predicted by most to be one of the league’s bottom feeders, they have been one of the best teams instead. Led by scores of young talent such as Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt, this is a team no one wants to play in the postseason. The biggest question mark is in net, as Vitek Vanacek is only average.
Finally, you can’t count out the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Eastern Conference champs three years in a row. They haven’t been quite as dominant this year, but their championship mettle can’t be questioned. When you make NHL season predictions, they are always at the top of the list, and with good reason.
The Western Conference
The Western Conference has been down all season. But with the East shaping up to be a battle royale in the postseason, the Western Conference winner might enter the Stanley Cup fresher. The current class of the West is the Dallas Stars. They are led by the fantastic Jason Robertson, one of the best pure scorers in the league. Add in Roope Hintz and veterans Joe Pavelski and Jamie Benn, and this offense is not to be messed with. They also have a fantastic defense, led by Miro Heiskanen on the blue line and the fabulous Jake Oettinger in net. Last season, Oettinger nearly beat the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs almost single-handedly. He has the goods to take Dallas all the way.
Another contender is the Los Angeles Kings. They are hoping that newly acquired goaltender Joonas Korpisalo will help shore up their defense. The new goaltender on the Vegas Golden Knights is the former netminder for the Kings, Jonathan Quick. He’s lost a step, but has two Stanley Cup victories under his belt and has a lot to offer as the newest addition in the VGK goaltender saga.
Speaking of the Golden Knights, they have made their way to the top of the Pacific Division and Western Conference standings this season, even after some rounds of late-game wins, blown leads, and third-period comebacks. Chances are high of coach Bruce Cassidy leading the Vegas Golden Knights to the playoffs and the Stanley Cup, especially with team players like centerman in Jack Eichel, defensemen Shea Theodore and Alex Pietrangelo, and impressive forwards like Reilly Smith, Chandler Stephenson, and Jonathan Marchessault.
The biggest wild card in the entire league is the defending champs, the Colorado Avalanche. They have been riddled with injuries all season, including their best player, defenseman Cale Makar. If their top players can get healthy and stay healthy, they are a team no one wants to face. They have the same core that helped them win the Cup last season. The biggest difference comes in net. Alexandar Georgiev is now in net, and he’s had a good but not spectacular season.
NHL Season Predictions & How to Bet on Hockey in Vegas
Ultimately, the favorites are the Boston Bruins, given how spectacular their regular season has been. But the NHL playoffs are incredibly unpredictable. Any of these teams on this list — and indeed, any of the 16 that eventually make the playoffs- have chances to lift the Cup at the season’s end.
Now that you’re set with everything you need to know about what’s to come in the National Hockey League, you’re ready to start wagering. Circa Sports® is the ultimate sportsbook in Las Vegas for NHL betting. Stop by Circa Resort, Golden Gate, the D, or one of the other Circa Sports locations in Las Vegas to place your bets in person. Can’t make it into the sportsbook? Download the Circa Sports app on iOS or Android to have your bookie right in your pocket.
Whether in person or on the app, join Circa Sports for your premier place to bet on hockey in Vegas.