We’re almost halfway through the NHL Season, which means we had best take a look at which teams are playing well enough for a division win and which teams must pick it up. Check out a list of the squads that currently lead their division, a NHL Divisional Betting pick to win the division, and an underdog pick to take the division title.
2022-23 NHL Projected Division Winners Halfway Through the Season
2022 – 2023 NHL Season
- When: Oct. 7, 2022 – June, 2023
At the time of this writing, the Boston Bruins have a 9-point lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs should have no trouble rallying and overtaking Boston.
The reason to like Toronto over the Bruins is because the Leafs rank second in goals against. The knock against Toronto the past few seasons has been that their defense couldn’t step it up when required. Not so this season.
If you like to play underdogs, the Buffalo Sabres deserve a look. Counting their Jan. 3 match, the Sabres are hot, winners of 7-of-8. Buffalo ranks first in goals per match. So if the defense catches up, the Sabres can win the division.
Carolina looks like the Metro winner. The Hurricanes rank twentieth in goals per at 3.1 and third in goals against at 2.5 each match. But although the stats are decent, the real reason to like Carolina is because top player Sebastian Aho doesn’t lead the team in points. Martin Necas does. So the Canes have a pair of players they can rely on to get goals and dish the puck.
The New York Islanders are a solid club. NYI has turned it on in recent matches, winning 4-of-5. If the Islanders carry their late first half play over to the second half of the season, they could overtake the Hurricanes.
The Stars are a quality team, but it’s difficult envisioning Dallas winning the Central Division. The Stars rank in the top six in both goals per and goals against.
But once Colorado gets healthy, the Avs should make a run for the division title. The underdog in the deep central are the St. Louis Blues. St. Louis would have to rally big time to catch the Stars, but it is possible.
The Golden Knights have just a 4-point lead over rival Las Vegas for first place in the Pacific Division. In the second half, the Knights are poised to increase their lead.
The reason? Vegas is solid on both sides of the ice. Not only that, but the Golden Knights were a preseason favorite last season and disappointed. So this season looks like a Vegas bounce back to prominence.
The top underdog is young franchise Seattle. The Kraken are 10 points behind Vegas. Seattle already has a pair of signature wins in 2023: 4-1 over the Islanders and 5-2 against Edmonton. If you’re looking to back a dog with a shot to win the Pacific Division, Seattle is a solid play.