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The 2020/21 NHL season ended on the 7th July with Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row with a 4-1 series win over the Montreal Canadiens. The new NHL season began on October 12, 2021, and the Stanley Cup finals will take place in June 2022.

View: Live NHL Game Line Odds

NHL 2021/22 Season Key Dates

  • September 28 – 2021 preseason starts
  • October 12 – 2021-22 regular season starts
  • January 1 – Winter Classic – Wild-Blues
  • February 4-5 – All-Star Weekend
  • February 7-22 – Olympic break
  • February 26 – Stadium Series – Predators-Lightning
  • April 29 – Last regular season game
  • July 7-8 – NHL Draft

NHL 2021-22 Futures Stanley Cup Betting

The opening favorites in the outright betting to win the Stanley Cup 2021-22 were the defending title holders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, and Vegas Golden Knights.

There was also be plenty of support for the likes of the Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, and Washington Capitals.

What Changes Have Been Made to The NHL Format for 2021-22?

The NHL has expanded to 32 teams with the addition of the Seattle Kraken.

Following the temporary alignment of the 2020-21 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic leading to cross-border travel restrictions between the USA and Canada, the NHL will now return to the previous alignment with Eastern and Western Conferences.

The Eastern Conference will be made up of the Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions, with the Western Conference featuring the Central and Pacific Divisions.

Seattle Kraken will be placed in the Pacific Division and the Arizona Coyotes will be moved to the Central Division.

What Is The “Scheduling Matrix” for The 2021-22 NHL Regular Season?

Each Division Has Eight Teams:

Games Within Division

  • 5 teams x 2 home / 2 away (10 home / 10 away)
  • 1 team x 2 home / 1 away (2 home / 1 away)
  • 1 team x 1 home / 2 away (1 home / 2 away)

Games Within Conference (Non-Division)

  • 4 teams x 2 home / 1 away (8 home / 4 away)
  • 4 teams x 1 home / 2 away (4 home / 8 away)

Non-Conference Games

  • 16 teams x 1 home / 1 away (16 home / 16 away)
  • Grand Total – 82 Games
  • 41 home / 41 away

NHL Player Awards Odds

Here are all the NHL Player Awards betting odds for the Hart Trophy, Art Ross Trophy, Calder Trophy, Jack Adams Trophy, James Norris Trophy, Rocket Richards Trophy and the Vezina Trophy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When does the 2021/22 NHL season start and end?

    The new NHL season will begin on October 12, 2021 (pending approval of cross-border travel) with the Stanley Cup finals scheduled to end in June 2022.

  • What changes were made to the format for NHL 2020-21?

    The pandemic has also necessitated changes to the regular season format, largely due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions imposed by the Canadian government.

    The changes to the calendar as a result of the pandemic mean that instead of the typical 82-game regular season, this year will see a reduction to 56 games.

    Another consequence is that the usual Eastern and Western Conferences, featuring the Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions (Eastern) and the Central and Pacific Divisions (Western), has given way to a new format in which the teams have been realigned into four new divisions (which we are assured is for this season only):

    • Central – Carolina Hurricanes; Chicago Blackhawks; Columbus Blue Jackets; Dallas Stars; Detroit Red Wings; Florida Panthers; Nashville Predators; Tampa Bay Lightning
    • East – Boston Bruins; Buffalo Sabres; New Jersey Devils; New York Islanders; New York Rangers; Philadelphia Flyers; Pittsburgh Penguins; Washington Capitals
    • North – Calgary Flames; Edmonton Oilers; Montreal Canadiens; Ottawa Senators; Toronto Maple Leafs; Vancouver Canucks; Winnipeg Jets
    • West – Anaheim Ducks; Arizona Coyotes; Colorado Avalanche; Los Angeles Kings; Minnesota Wild; San Jose Sharks; St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights.

    All teams will only play their divisional opponents in the regular season. The Canadian teams in the North Division (which has seven teams) will play each other nine or 10 times, while every other team will face their divisional opponents eight times.

  • What format was in place for the NHL 2020-21 playoffs?

    As things stand, the playoffs are tentatively scheduled to run with a 16-team format featuring the top four teams from each division. All the playoff rounds will be decided on a best-of-seven basis.

    The first two rounds of the playoffs will be played on a divisional basis, with the first-placed team in each division playing the fourth-placed team and the second-placed team playing the third-placed team.

    The winners of each of these series will then play each other in the second round, after which the four Divisional winning teams will then advance to the third round (or Stanley Cup Semifinals).

    These Semifinals will be re-seeded based on each team’s regular season points.

    Barring any further Covid-19 interruptions, it’s expected that the Stanley Cup should be take place around mid-July.

    This season will, due to the new divisional format, also be unique in that there is every possibility that the Stanley Cup Final will not be a straight contest between one team from the Eastern Conference against one from the Western Conference.

  • Who were the favourites in the NHL Futures Division Betting?

    • Central – Tampa Bay Lightning are warm favorites to secure the Central Division, with their main challenge expected to come from last season’s beaten Stanley Cup finalists, the Dallas Stars, and the Carolina Hurricanes.

    • East – The East Division is the most difficult to predict based on the available betting odds, with the Boston Bruins marginal favorites ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. There could be strong challenges from the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.

    • North – The Toronto Maple Leafs are the favorites to win the North Division, with their main rivals according to the betting odds with the sportsbooks likely to be the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks.

    • West – The sportsbooks see the Central Division as being closely contested between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights, with the St. Louis Blues as their most serious challengers.

  • What to consider when betting on Stanley Cup 2021-22?

    Factors to take into consideration when staking any money on the Stanley Cup outright market are the shortened regular season, the lack of any preseason games, the condensed schedule and the probable absence of fans at games in any great number for much, if not all, of the season.

    The fact that two of the three Stanley Cup favorites, the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights, are both drawn together in the Central Division suggests it could be wise to avoid both in Stanley Cup outright betting.

    On that basis, the Tampa Bay Lightning look like they could be worth backing to retain the title although, with so much uncertainty surrounding how the season will unfold, a speculative wager on an outsider is also worth considering. The Edmonton Oilers could be one such team.

  • What happened in NHL 2020-21?

    On July 7, Tampa Bay Lightning lifted the Stanley Cup for the second successive season defeating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 series.

  • What happened in NHL 2019-20?

    The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic led to the season being suspended indefinitely on March 12, 2020.

    In May, the NHL and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) agreed to a framework for the resumption of play. The remainder of the regular season was cancelled, with the top 12 teams in each conference (by points percentage) competing in a modified and expanded Stanley Cup playoffs.

    The season finally ended on September 28, 2020, with the Tampa Bay Lightning defeating the Dallas Stars 4-2 in the Stanley Cup Final series.