NHL Midseason Report

The National Hockey League is officially halfway through its season. With the NHL All-Star Game just a few days away, 2021-22 has left many teams grasping at straws due to COVID-19 regulations, with only 20 of the NHL’s 32 teams reaching the 41-game mark.

At the top of the Eastern Conference in the Atlantic division are the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, with 29 and 28 wins respectively. In the Metropolitan division, the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins come in at a close with 28 and 27 wins respectively. 

Under the Western Conference in the Central division, the Colorado Avalanches have 29 wins on their scoreboard, with the Nashville Predators coming in a close second with 27 wins. The Pacific division dwindles with such numbers, with the Vegas Golden Knights having only 25 wins and Anaheim Ducks coming in second with only 21 wins. 

Predicted rankings have favored the Colorado Avalanche to come in first for the Stanley Cup due to their current pace being 125 points. While they do not win every game, their power consistency on the ice leaves them at excellent odds. 

The Florida Panthers are predicted to finish second with a current pace of 120 points, proving throughout the season that everyone underestimated them.

And last but not least, the Carolina Hurricanes have held a constant dynamic on the ice, so third place for them should not be new, as their pace is at 122 points currently. 

While some teams may be experiencing an abundance of luck this season, some, unfortunately, are not. Teams such as the New York Islanders have had to postpone games due to the COVID-19 regulation shutdowns with only 15 games with wins on their record at a set pace of 84 points, with Mat Barzal leading the team with 26 of those points. 

This season, the Calgary Flames have had bad luck due to COVID-19 regulation shutdowns. Their consistency is lacking after coming out of lockdown, with only 19 wins and 12 losses on their record, with Johnny Gaudreau leading the team with 48 points on their current 98-points pace. 

Before the divisions go head to head at the All-Star games on Feb. 5, the top division teams have a heavy schedule against them. The Florida Panthers are scheduled to play on Jan. 27 against the Golden Knights, Jan. 29 against San Jose and Jan. 31 against Columbus. The New York Rangers are expected to play Jan. 27 against Columbus, Jan. 28 against Minnesota and Jan. 30 against Seattle. While the Colorado Avalanches are set to play on Jan. 28 against Chicago and Jan. 30 against Buffalo. Lastly, the Vegas Golden Knights will play on Jan. 29 against Tampa Bay and Feb. 1 against Buffalo. 

The NHL has had a tough 2021-22 season, and their midseason report card showcases that. Hopefully the All-Star games allow players to relieve tensions from their rigid schedules and have a bit of fun on the ice. The All-Star Game will include a three-game tournament in which teams from each NHL division will compete in a three-on-three format. There will be nine skaters and two goalies on each of the four teams.