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NHL 2021/2022 season preview Hockey

Lightning win second straight Stanley Cup

Tampa Bay defeated the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, becoming the first team to repeat as champion since the 2016 and 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy won the Conn Smythe Trophy and recorded his fifth straight shutout in a series-clinching game.

With the win, the Lightning improved to 15-0 immediately following a loss over the past two postseasons, the longest such streak in NHL history. Defeating Montreal is the 15th series win for the Lightning since 2015. In that span, no other team has won more than nine series.

Tampa B. - Montreal4 : 1
Vegas - Montreal2 : 4
Tampa B. - NY Islan.4 : 3
Montreal - Winnipeg4 : 0
Colorado - Vegas2 : 4
Carolina - Tampa B.1 : 4
Boston - NY Islan.2 : 4
Vegas - Minnesota4 : 3
Edmonton - Winnipeg0 : 4
Colorado - St Louis4 : 0
Florida - Tampa B.2 : 4
Carolina - Nashville4 : 2
Toronto - Montreal3 : 4
Pittsburgh - NY Islan.2 : 4
Washing. - Boston1 : 4
Central Division
1Carolina80
2Florida79
3Tampa B.75
4Nashville64
5Dallas60
6Chicago55
7Detroit48
8Columbus48
East Division
1Pittsburgh77
2Washing.77
3Boston73
4NY Islan.71
5NY Ran.60
6Philadel.58
7N. Jersey45
8Buffalo37
North Division
1Toronto77
2Edmonton72
3Winnipeg63
4Montreal59
5Calgary55
6Ottawa51
7Vancouv.50
 
West Division
1Vegas82
2Colorado82
3Minnesota75
4St Louis63
5Arizona54
6LA Kings49
7San Jose49
8Anaheim43

NHL 2021/22 key dates

After two seasons shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic, NHL fans will finally be treated to a full, 82-game schedule during the 2021/22 campaign. The league will return to the previous alignment with East and West conferences. The Seattle Kraken will be placed in the Pacific Division and the Arizona Coyotes will be moved to the Central Division.

  • October 12: Regular season begins
  • February 4-22: Olympic Break
  • February 4-5: All-Star Weekend
  • March 21: Trade deadline
  • April 29: Regular season ends
  • May 2: Playoffs begins
  • June 30: Last possible day of Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup favorites

These are odds to win NHL 2021/22 Championship published by online bookmakers before the start of the season:

TeamOddsTeamOdds
Avalanche7Flames40
Lightning8Blackhawks40
Golden Knights9.5Canadiens40
Maple Leafs13Jets40
Bruins15Devils50
Islanders18Kraken50
Hurricanes21Canucks50
Panthers21Kings65
Penguins21Predators65
Oilers23Sharks80
Wild23Blue Jackets100
Rangers26Ducks150
Capitals26Coyotes150
Flyers31Red Wings150
Stars36Senators150
Blues36Sabres200

The Colorado Avalanche are still looking for another Stanley Cup trophy after four straight postseason appearances. Last season the Avalanche went 39-13-4, first in the West Division, and again, they lost in the second round to the Vegas Golden Knights. The most important pieces of off-season business were done: re-signing captain Gabriel Landeskog before he could leave in free agency, and then acquiring Darcy Kuemper to replace Philipp Grubauer in net. They have top end talent throughout the lineup and should be the best team in the re-formed Central Division.

This is introduction to 2021/22 NHL season. Latest news, statistics, results and predictions you can find on our main NHL page.

Despite their offseason losses due to the salary cap, the Tampa Bay Lightning head into the 21/22 season as one of the leagues most well rounded teams. The have good depth at both forward and defense and a proven starting goaltender. All of their top players are back, and Nikita Kucherov will be regular season ready this time. The Lightning will once again be a major threat to win it all this year as they usually are every season.

The Vegas Golden Knights rewrote the rules for expansion teams with exceptional success from their infancy. The Golden Knights were a top-five team on both sides of the puck and there haven't been any major downgrades to the forward or defensive units. This season presents new challenges as Vegas says goodbye to Marc-Andre Fleury and Ryan Reaves. Robin Lehner is a strong No. 1, but if he has to miss any time, Laurent Brossoit won't give the same cover as Fleury.

Coaching changes

Arizona CoyotesAndre Tourigny
Buffalo SabresDon Granato
Columbus Blue JacketsBrad Larsen
Montreal CanadiensDominique Ducharme
New York RangersGerard Gallant
Seattle KrakenDave Hakstol

The Stanley Cup finals in the last five seasons

2021Tampa Bay Lightning - Montreal Canadiens4:1
2020Tampa Bay Lightning - Dallas Stars4:2
2019Boston Bruins - St. Louis Blues3:4
2018Vegas - Washington Capitals1:4
2017Pittsburgh Penguins - Nashville Predators4:2
TeamTitles16/1717/1818/1919/2020/21
Montreal241/8--1/4finals
Toronto131/81/81/81/81/8
Detroit11-----
Chicago61/8--1/4-
Boston61/81/4finals1/21/4
Pittsburgh5title1/41/81/81/8
Edmonton51/4--1/81/8
NY Islanders4--1/4-1/2
NY Rangers41/4--1/8-
New Jersey3-1/8---
Tampa Bay3-1/21/8titletitle
Los Angeles2-1/8---
Colorado2-1/81/41/21/4
Philadelphia2-1/8-1/2-
St. Louis11/4-title1/41/8
Dallas1--1/4finals-
Calgary11/8-1/81/4-
Carolina1--1/21/41/4
Anaheim11/21/8---
Washington11/4title1/81/41/8
Vegas-finals1/8-1/2
Ottawa-1/2----
Minnesota-1/81/8-1/81/8
San Jose-1/81/41/2--
Vancouver----1/2-
Arizona----1/4-
Buffalo------
Florida----1/81/8
Winnipeg--1/21/81/81/4
Columbus-1/81/81/41/4-
Nashville-finals1/41/81/81/8

The table shows the overall number of NHL titles since 1918 and team success in the last five seasons.

Key players

Anaheim Ducks

Center Trevor Zegras, Wings Max Comtois and Rickard Rakell, Defenders Hampus Lindholm and Jamie Drysdale, Goaltender John Gibson

Arizona Coyotes

Center Nick Schmaltz, Wings Clayton Keller and Phil Kessel, Defenders Jakob Chychrun and Conor Timmins, Goaltender Carter Hutton

Boston Bruins

Center Patrice Bergeron, Wings Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, Defenders Derek Forbort and Charlie McAvoy, Goaltender Linus Ullmark

Buffalo Sabres

Center Dylan Cozens, Wings Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson, Defenders Jake McCabe and Henri Jokiharju, Goaltender Dustin Tokarski

Calgary Flames

Center Elias Lindholm, Wings Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, Defenders Noah Hanifin and Christopher Tanev, Goaltender Jacob Markstrom

Carolina Hurricanes

Center Sebastian Aho, Wings Nino Niederreiter and Martin Necas, Defenders Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce, Goaltender Frederik Andersen

Chicago Blackhawks

Center Tyler Johnson, Wings Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane, Defenders Calvin de Haan and Seth Jones, Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury

Colorado Avalanche

Center Nathan MacKinnon, Wings Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, Defenders Samuel Girard and Cale Makar, Goaltender Darcy Kuemper

Columbus Blue Jacket

Center Boone Jenner, Wings Patrik Laine and Jakub Voracek, Defenders Zach Werenski and Jake Bean, Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins

Dallas Stars

Center Joe Pavelski, Wings Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson, Defenders Ryan Suter and Miro Heiskanen, Goaltender Jake Oettinger

Detroit Red Wings

Center Dylan Larkin, Wings Tyler Bertuzzi and Filip Zadina, Defenders Danny DeKeyser and Filip Hronek, Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic

Edmonton Oilers

Center Connor McDavid, Wings Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujarvi, Defenders Darnell Nurse and Tyson Barrie, Goaltender Mike Smith

Florida Panthers

Center Aleksander Barkov, Wings Carter Verhaeghe and Sam Reinhart, Defenders MacKenzie Weegar and Aaron Ekblad, Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky

Los Angeles Kings

Center Anze Kopitar, Wings Alex Iafallo and Viktor Arvidsson, Defenders Mikey Anderson and Drew Doughty, Goaltender Calvin Petersen

Minnesota Wild

Center Joel Eriksson Ek, Wings Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello, Defenders Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba, Goaltender Cam Talbot

Montreal Canadiens

Center Nick Suzuki, Wings Tyler Toffoli and Cole Caufield, Defenders Alexander Romanov and Jeff Petry, Goaltender Jake Allen

Nashville Predators

Center Ryan Johansen, Wings Filip Forsberg and Eeli Tolvanen, Defenders Roman Josi and Philippe Myers, Goaltender Juuse Saros

New Jersey Devils

Center Jack Hughes, Wings Janne Kuokkanen and Yegor Sharangovich, Defenders Ryan Graves and Dougie Hamilton, Goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood

New York Islanders

Center Mathew Barzal, Wings Anders Lee and Kyle Palmieri, Defenders Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock, Goaltender Ilya Sorokin

New York Rangers

Center Mika Zibanejad, Wings Alexis Lafreniere and Chris Kreider, Defenders Ryan Lindgren and Adam Fox, Goaltender Igor Shesterkin

Ottawa Senators

Center Josh Norris, Wings Tim Stuetzle and Drake Batherson, Defenders Thomas Chabot and Nikita Zaitsev, Goaltender Matt Murray

Philadelphia Flyers

Center Sean Couturier, Wings Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny, Defenders Ivan Provorov and Ryan Ellis, Goaltender Carter Hart

Pittsburgh Penguins

Center Jeff Carter, Wings Jason Zucker and Bryan Rust, Defenders Brian Dumoulin and Kris Letang, Goaltender Tristan Jarry

San Jose Sharks

Center Logan Couture, Wings Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc, Defenders Mario Ferraro and Brent Burns, Goaltender James Reimer

Seattle Kraken

Center Jared McCann, Wings Jaden Schwartz and Jordan Eberle, Defenders Vince Dunn and Adam Larsson, Goaltender Philipp Grubauer

St. Louis Blues

Center Ryan O'Reilly, Wings Brandon Saad and Vladimir Tarasenko, Defenders Torey Krug and Justin Faulk, Goaltender Jordan Binnington

Tampa Bay Lightning

Center Brayden Point, Wings Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov, Defenders Victor Hedman and Jan Rutta, Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy

Toronto Maple Leafs

Center Auston Matthews, Wings Nick Ritchie and Mitchell Marner, Defenders Morgan Rielly and T.J. Brodie, Goaltender Jack Campbell

Vancouver Canucks

Center Elias Pettersson, Wings J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser, Defenders Quinn Hughes and Tyler Myers, Goaltender Thatcher Demko

Vegas Golden Knights

Center Chandler Stephenson, Wings Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, Defenders Alec Martinez and Alex Pietrangelo, Goaltender Robin Lehner

Washington Capitals

Center Evgeny Kuznetsov, Wings Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson, Defenders Trevor van Riemsdyk and John Carlson, Goaltender Ilya Samsonov

Winnipeg Jets

Center Pierre-Luc Dubois, Wings Kyle Connor and Evgeny Svechnikov, Defenders Josh Morrissey and Nate Schmidt, Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck