Ah hockey feels, autumn is here and NHL exhibition is in full force. The 2022–23 NHL season is quickly approaching and will be the 106th season of operation of the National Hockey League. The regular season is scheduled to begin on October 7, 2022, when the San Jose Sharks and the Nashville Predators play the first of two games in Prague, Czech Republic. The majority of the league commences on October 12th, 2022.
Hockey pundits all over the place are making their predictions, and poolsters are looking to see which players might be a solid dark-horse pick. There is great excitement in markets such as Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Ottawa and in Edmonton. There is some uncertainty in other markets such as Toronto, Buffalo and Philadelphia. The Seattle Kraken are set to start their second NHL season hoping to grow from their first. The Colorado Avalanche begin the long journey of defending their Stanley Cup championship.
Here at the Hockey Fanatic, we also like to share our thoughts on the upcoming season and some predictions for how the season might unfold. There are always a lot of questions as the season begins:
- How many goals will Ovie score this year to come closer to the great Wayne Gretzky’s total?
- Will Connor McDavid reach 130 points and reclaim the Hart trophy
- How long does John Tortorella last in Philly?
- Will the Canadiens or Blackhawks tank to try and secure the first overall draft pick and a chance to select Connor Bedard?
- Will Patrick Kane and Johnathan Toews be traded out of Chicago?
- Is this the year that the Toronto Maple Leafs win a playoff series?
- Who will become the started in the net for the Vegas Golden Knights?
- Is this the year that Buffalo becomes closer to making the playoffs?
- Is Carolina as good as everyone thinks they are?
- Will the Flames dominate the Pacific or does Edmonton challenge for top spot? (BTW I’d say the A.I. that hashed out the NHL schedule this season failed as the Flames and Oilers only play three times… like c’mon)
Ah we digress. So lets take a look at how the divisions will stack up in the NHL this season.
NHL Predictions: Regular Season Division Standings
The Pacific Division is no longer the weakest division in the NHL, the Alberta teams will be strong, Vegas looks to rebound and the Kings and Canucks should see marked improvements this season.
This season the Flames and Oilers should battle it out for which team will win the Pacific.
In the Atlantic, you have to look to Florida, Toronto and Tampa Bay as being the three teams that will challenge for the division title.
Finally in the Metro division, the Carolina Hurricanes should put up some impressive numbers this season.