2021–22 NHL Season Recap, and What’s Next for Hockey
Another fantastic NHL season is in the books. This year was quite the doozy, with some epic performances culminating in a terrific playoff and the crowning of a new champ. After 6 exciting games, the Colorado Avalanche brought home the Stanley Cup after dethroning the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning. Now that the season is over and we’re in the stretch waiting for next season to start, see highlights from 2021-22 and what to expect when the 2022-23 NHL season starts on October 11.
Recapping the 2021-22 NHL Season
This season was all about the emergence of new stars. It starts in net, with Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers. He helped accelerate the team’s rebuild, propelling them to the conference finals for the first time since 2015. Shesterkin led all goalies with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage. He was also third in the league with six shutouts. It was one of the better individual seasons for a goaltender in recent memory. His ascent to stardom, along with a sterling playoff performance, set the stage for the Rangers to be serious contenders next season.
Another star was born, this time by the name of Cale Makar. The Colorado Avalanche defenseman drove home a whopping 28 goals, leading all blueliners. Makar was even better in the playoffs. The 23-year-old is set to dominate the sport for years to come.
There were also a number of snipers who burst onto the scene. Jason Robertson made the splash in Dallas in his first full season. The winger has 41 goals and 38 assists, showing a dynamism that belies his 22 years. In Minnesota, Kirill “The Thrill” Kaprizov followed up his Rookie of the Year win with a stellar sophomore campaign, tallying 47 goals and 61 assists. Add in other impressive youngsters, like Jesper Bratt of New Jersey (26 goals, 47 assists); Troy Terry (37 goals, 30 assists) and Trevor Zegras (23 goals, 38 assists) of Anaheim; Nick Suzuki of Montreal (21 goals, 40 assists); and Lucas Raymond (23 goals, 34 assists) of Detroit, and the league is good hands.
Looking Ahead to the 2022-23 NHL Season
We know that the next NHL season will be driven by the emergence of these youngsters, as well as the play of impressive veterans like Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid. It will also be driven by the next wave of teams looking to make their mark.
It starts with the aforementioned Rangers, who defied expectations by reaching the conference finals. With an impressive array of youngsters and a top goaltender, they will be tough to beat. There’s also the Florida Panthers, who won the President’s Trophy with the most regular season points. Though they flamed out in the second round of the playoffs, there’s a lot of exciting young talent that will keep them in the hunt for years to come.
Smart bettors shouldn’t sleep on the Los Angeles Kings, who had a fine season and boast a number of terrific youngsters. The Calgary Flames are loaded on offense and are coming off a deep playoff run. They are boosted by the play of Jacob Markström in the net.
Finally, though these teams didn’t make the playoffs, they all are overflowing with young talent. The 2022–23 season could be the year they break through. There are the Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, and Ottawa Senators in the Atlantic Division; the New Jersey Devils in the Metropolitan Division; and the Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division.
The NHL is at an exciting juncture. There are still established stars and veteran teams ready to go for the Cup. There’s also a ton of young talent that has taken the league – and social media – by storm. With offensive players doing things that have never been seen before on the ice and goaltenders proving up to the challenge, this is a great time to watch and bet on the NHL.
How to Bet on Hockey in Las Vegas
Now that you’re set with everything you need to know about what’s to come in the NHL, you’re ready to start wagering. Circa Sports is the ultimate sportsbook in Las Vegas for hockey betting. Head out to Circa Resort, Golden Gate, or the D in Downtown Las Vegas to place your bets in person and enjoy watching live sports with fellow hockey fanatics. Can’t make it into the sportsbook? Download the Circa Sports app on iOS or Android to have your bookie right in your pocket and bet wherever you are in Vegas.
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