The 2021-22 NHL regular season begins October 12. The temporary divisions from last season are gone. For the upcoming 2021-22 NHL season, the league reverts back to having the Metropolitan and Atlantic divisions in the Eastern Conference and the Central and Pacific divisions in the Western Conference. The league´s new team, the Seattle Kraken are part of the Pacific Division and the Arizona Coyotes move to the Central Division.
The 2021 season ended with the Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Stanley Cup in five games over the Montreal Canadians.
Let’s look at the preseason Western Conference odds and my prediction for who will win the west. Also, be sure to check out our NHL betting tips page for tips and advice on how to wager on hockey.
2022 WESTERN CONFERENCE ODDS
GOLDEN KNIGHTS OR AVALANCHE?
The Colorado Avalanche won the President’s Trophy for the first time in 20 years with a record of 39-13-4. The Vegas Golden Knights had the same record, but the Avalanche took home the award for best overall record thanks to the tiebreaker of most regulation wins (COL: 35, VGK: 30).
The Avalanche swept St. Louis in the opening round of the playoffs, but they fell to the Golden Knights in six games in the second round.
The Avalanche made some big changes in the off-season. The team moved on from seven players who played in all 10 of its playoff games last year, including goaltender, Vezina Trophy finalist Philip Grubauer. Darcy Kuemper joined the team as the starting goalie. As for the other changes, the top seven scorers on the team remain, as do five of the six defensemen who helped the Avalanche to the lowest shots allowed per game last season (25.4)
The big change for Vegas comes between the pipes as Marc-Andre Fleury is gone, and the crease now belongs to Robin Lehner. An enormous amount of pressure will be on Lehner as Fleury played more games than him last season and also put up better numbers. The most games the 30-year-old Lehner has played in a season is 59 and that came in 2016-17. Vegas might have to rely on off-season backup signing Laurent Brossoit.
Don’t sleep on the Winnipeg Jets. With workhorse goalie Connor Hellebuyck between the pipes, the Jets are a threat to get hot when they need to and surprise everyone as the Western Conference winners.
Most of the Jets core remains intact. This season might be the final one this crew gets to make a deep run in the west.
I favor the Avalanche here. If Vegas stumbles, the confidence of the squad could crumble without Fleury in net. As for Colorado, I think their hunger and drive to show the Knights that they got lucky in 2021 will be a driving force for them in the Western Conference.
Colorado Avalanche to win the Western Conference +225 via BetUs
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