A Guide To The NHL

The hockey season gets underway on Wednesday as the Los AngelesKings begin their defence of the Stanley Cup and the New YorkRangers look to make a swift return to the Finals after winningtheir first Eastern Conference title in twenty years

A Guide To The NHL

Betting On The NHL

Betting on Ice Hockey and specifically, the NHL has increased by a huge amount over the last few years. 

When different US states lifted gambling restrictions this enabled sports bettors to place bets on the NHL. 

There are now a raft NHL betting markets and types of bet on offer including:

  • Point Spread
  • Total Goals
  • Draw No Bet
  • Winner
  • Double Chance
  • Winning Margin
  • Correct Score
  • Period Betting
  • Goalscorers
  • Asian Handicap

You can read about all sporting bet types via the comprehensive betting school article.

All the major online bookmakers offer NHL betting, a quick check on a game showed 60 betting options, we are really are spoilt for choice on the NHL betting front. 

Ice Hockey Betting

If you follow the NHL then you should be in a good position to profit from your knowledge.

The NHL League Structure

32 teams are split into two Conferences, East & West.

Within each conference, there are two Divisions.

In the Eastern Conference, we have the Atlantic and Metropolitan.

In the Western Conference, it is the Central and Pacific.

Atlantic Division - Eastern Conference

Team State and Country
Boston Bruins Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Buffalo Sabres Buffalo, New York, USA
Detroit Red Wings Detroit, Michigan, USA
Florida Panthers Sunrise, Florida, USA
Montreal Canadians Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Ottawa Senators Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Metropolitan Division - Eastern Conference

Team State and Country
Carolina Hurricanes Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus, Ohio, USA
New Jersey Devils Newark, New Jersey, USA
New York Islanders New York, New York State, USA
New York Rangers New York, New York State USA
Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Washington Capitals Washington DC, USA

Central Division - Western Conference 

Team State and Country
Chicago Blackhawks Chicago, Illinois, USA
Colorado Avalanche Denver, Colorado, USA
Dallas Stars Dallas, Texas, USA
Minnesota Wild St Paul, Minnesota, USA
Nashville Predators Nashville, Tennessee, USA
St Louis Blues St Louis, Missouri, USA
Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Pacific Division - Western Conference

Team State and Country
Anaheim Ducks Anaheim, California, USA
Arizona Coyotes Glendale, Arizona, USA
Calgary Flames Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Edmonton Oilers Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles, California, USA
San Jose Sharks San Jose, California, USA
Seattle Kraken Seattle, Washington, USA. 
Vancouver Canucks Vancouver, Canada
Vegas Golden Knights Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. 

NHL Season

The season is broken down into  four categories

  • Pre Season
  • Regular Season
  • Stanley Cup Playoffs
  • Stanley Cup Final

The regular season takes place between October and April.

During the regular season, each team plays 41 games at home and 41 games away.

These games are a mix of multiple games against teams in their division, they also play games against teams in their conference but not their division, finally they play against teams, not in their conference.

The top 3 teams from each division go into the Playoffs. (12)

The remaining top two teams in each conference are wild cards. (4)


This leaves 16 teams for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  

These teams play in Divisional SemiFinals and a Divisional Final to determine which two teams will compete in the Stanley Cup Final. 

There will be one finalist from the Western Conference and one finalist from the Eastern Conference.

Points Structure

If a team wins a game they get 2 points.

If a team loses a game in overtime or by shootout they get 1 point.

Stanley Cup Final

This is a best of seven series to determine the winner. 

Stanley Cup Champions and Finalists

Year Stanley Cup Winners Final Score Runners Up
2020 Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 Dallas Stars
2019 St Louis Blues 4-3 Boston Bruins
2018 Washington Capitals 4-1 Vegas Golden Knights
2017 Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 Nashville Predators
2016 Pittsburgh Penguins
4-2 San Jose Sharks
2015 Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 Tampa Bay Lightning
2014 Los Angelas Kings 4-1 New York Rangers
2013 Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 Boston Bruins
2012 Los Angelas Kings 4-2 New Jersey Devils
2011 Boston Bruins 4-3 Vancouver Canucks
2010 Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 Philadelphia Flyers

Further reading is available at NHL.COM

To place a tip or bet on an NHL game please visit the Ice Hockey Tipping Pages.

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