Oh Canada, it's Hockey Betting Time - NHL is Back!

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by Rae Dover
| 06/01/2021
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Hockey Betting is Back Canada

Every hockey fan across Canada will be looking forward to the new NHL season with fresh optimism, and there will be an extra emphasis on just that this season. Sweeping changes to the NHL divisions means that Canadian online hockey betting interest may be at an all-time high this year, as all the teams north of the border will be situated in the same division for the first time. But, what does this mean? And, could the long 28-year wait for a Canadian Stanley Cup winner come to an end? 

 

What Is the New Divisional Alignment?

At the beginning of January, the NHL announced that the new season would get underway on the 13th of January, which gives teams just a short time to embark on pre-season training. The governing body's announcement also revealed that this season would be slightly shorter than normal, with just 56 games played during the campaign. Most excitingly, the current travel restrictions that have been enforced by the Canadian government due to the coronavirus pandemic have meant that the NHL have needed to shake up the conferences this season due to American and Canadian based teams being unable to travel across the border in either direction.

Ice Hockey - Bet OnlineDue to the travel restrictions, it was revealed that the Canadian teams would all be in the same NHL hockey division this season. This will undoubtedly be exciting news for NHL ice hockey fans in Canada, as it means that all the teams in the Great White North will be playing their games at home this season. However, due to the government's same restrictions, there will also be limited, or no fans in attendance for the games played in the adapted division this season, at least for the early part of the season.

North Division Teams & Picks

There will be more excitement than ever regarding the Canadian teams this season, as they will be competing against one another in the North conference. It was revealed by the NHL that the following teams would make up the division this season:

  • Calgary Flames
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Winnipeg Jets

NHL Hockey Betting 2021The ice hockey betting for the North Division already looks to be extremely competitive, with a number of teams likely to be challenging for the top spot. For the "Leaf Nation", the emphasis will be on the Toronto Maple Leafs to better their performance from last season.  The Leafs were knocked out in the qualifying rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs last season, which was ultimately a disappointing end to a turbulent season. However, there will be renewed hope this term as the franchise comes into their first full season under the stewardship of coach Sheldon Keefe. There isn't any doubting that the Leafs have the quality to go deep in the playoffs. However, they have won just one post-season playoff series in the past 17 years. Auston Matthews will hold the pressure of changing this.  

Ice hockey betting online markets also show that Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers will be among the teams contesting with the Leafs to win the conference. The Oilers will be looking to reach the playoffs for the second consecutive year, and will be boosted by the arrivals of Kris Russell and Tyler Ennis. The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames are considered as outsiders in the North with online hockey betting sites but a strong start to the season could improve their chances.

Other NHL Divisions & Picks

While the North Division will get all the attention in Canada, the other divisions in the NHL also promise for captivating fixtures this season. Once the regular season and first round of playoffs have been completed, the Canadian teams will have to come up against the teams from the United States in the later rounds of the Stanley Cup.  

Central Division

  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Dallas Stars
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Florida Panthers
  • Nashville Predators
  • Tampa Bay Lightning

The reigning Stanley Cup holders Tampa Bay Lightning will come into the new NHL season expecting to win back to back titles. The ice hockey betting online odds would suggest that they should win this division comfortably, and they should be able to do that as they are once again led into the season under the stewardship of the longest-serving head coach Jon Cooper.

East Division

  • Boston Bruins
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • New Jersey Devils
  • New York Islanders
  • New York Rangers
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Washington Capitals

The Eastern Division may be slightly harder to call, with online betting sites currently struggling to separate the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boston fell at the second round stage last season after finishing top of the Atlantic Conference. Meanwhile, the Penguins were shocked by the Canadiens in the qualifying round last season.

West Division

  • Anaheim Ducks
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Minnesota Wild
  • San Jose Sharks
  • St Louis Blues
  • Vegas Golden Knights

Unfortunately, the Vegas Golden Knights were beaten in the conference finals last season, but will be looking to go one better this term in their first full season under Peter DeBoer. Meanwhile, Colorado Avalanche will likely be the favourites to win the West Division and will be boosted after acquiring first-round draft pick Justin Barron from the Halifax Mooseheads.

Who Will Win The Stanley Cup?

It promises to be another mesmeric year of hockey in the NHL, and at present, it looks difficult to predict who could win the Stanley Cup. The Avalanche, Lightning, and Golden Knights remain the clear favourites, but some may find it hard to bet on the Avalanche as they were beaten in the second round of the post-season. The Golden Knights have excelled in the post-season over recent years and could be a wise selection.  From the North Division, the expectancy will be that the Maple Leafs will be the team to emerge from the pack, and they could be the side to end the long wait for Canadian success should they sort out their defensive issues that have hampered their progression over recent seasons.

In the end, TrueNorthCasinos can't see anything but a Tampa Bay Lightnight repeat Stanley Cup in 2021!

 

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