With the 2022-23 NHL season just a few days away, The Circuit predicts every aspect of the season, from over/unders to who will win the major awards. How does your team look this season? Check out what The Circuit has to say!
The NHL might be (to some) the fourth of the four major sports here in the United States, but it’s about to come back and it’s time to get excited! With multiple generational talents in their prime and a few dynastic-level teams competing for glory, this season promises to be one of the best ever! Let’s kick things off with the over/unders for points for all 32 teams!
1- Toronto Maple Leafs- O/U 107.5= OVER
2- Tampa Bay Lightning- O/U 103.5= OVER
3- Boston Bruins- O/U 95.5= OVER
4- Florida Panthers- O/U 104.5= OVER
5- Detroit Red Wings- O/U 84.5= UNDER
6- Ottawa Senators- O/U 85.5= UNDER
7- Buffalo Sabres- O/U 78.5= UNDER
8- Montreal Canadiens- O/U 72.5= UNDER
1- New York Rangers- O/U 99.5= OVER
2- Pittsburgh Penguins- O/U 101.5= OVER
3- Carolina Hurricane- O/U 103.5= OVER
4- Washington Capitals- O/U 93.5= UNDER
5- New York Islanders- O/U 94.5= UNDER
6- New Jersey Devils- O/U 88.5= UNDER
7- Philadelphia Flyers- O/U 74.5= OVER
8- Columbus Blue Jackets- O/U 79.5= UNDER
1- Colorado Avalanche- O/U 110.5= OVER
2- Minnesota Wild- O/U 99.5= OVER
3- Nashville Predators- O/U 97.5= OVER
4- Dallas Stars- O/U 92.5= OVER
5- St. Louis Blues- O/U 95.5= UNDER
6- Winnipeg Jets- O/U 88.5= UNDER
7- Phoenix Coyotes- O/U 66.5= UNDER
8- Chicago Blackhawks- O/U 66.5= UNDER
1- Edmonton Oilers- O/U 103.5= OVER
2- Anaheim Ducks- O/U 78.5= OVER
3- Los Angeles Kings- O/U 95.5= OVER
4- Las Vegas Golden Knights- O/U 97.5= UNDER
5- Calgary Flames- O/U 102.5= UNDER
6- San Jose Sharks- O/U 75.5= OVER
7- Vancouver Canucks- O/U 92.5= UNDER
8- Seattle Kraken- O/U 81.5= UNDER
The biggest over for me here are the Anaheim Ducks. This team has been rebuilding for the past few years now and have accumulated some incredible talent; I am expecting big things from Trevor Zegras and the Ducks this season. Pound the over!
The biggest under I have here are the Chicago Blackhawks. They were a phenomenal team a decade ago, but everything I’ve seen from them the past 12 months has me thinking this team could be one of the worst in the league. Eventually, water finds its level, and the Blackhawks are unfortunately finding their level after dominating for so many years.
I would also bet on the Colorado Avalanche for most points in the league. Typically I don’t like to bet on defending champs for best record because winning naturally takes your foot off the gas, but this season could be different; there are so many great teams in the league this year, the Avs won’t have that luxury. If they take their foot off the gas, they could be in real trouble come the playoffs. Look for Colorado to be great again this season.
Now let’s take a look at my playoff predictions!
1 Toronto Maple Leafs def WC Washington Capitals 4-1
3 Boston Bruins def 2 Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2
1 New York Rangers def WC Florida Panthers 4-0
2 Pittsburgh Penguins def 3 Carolina Hurricane 4-3
1 Colorado Avalanche def WC Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-0
2 Minnesota Wild def 3 Nashville Predators 4-3
1 Edmonton Oilers def WC Dallas Stars 4-2
2 Anaheim Ducks def 3 Los Angeles Kings 4-3
1 Toronto Maple Leafs def 3 Boston Bruins 4-3
2 Pittsburgh Penguins def 1 New York Rangers 4-2
1 Colorado Avalanche def 2 Minnesota Wild 4-0
1 Edmonton Oilers def 2 Anaheim Ducks 4-1
1 Toronto Maple Leafs def 2 Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1
1 Edmonton Oilers def 1 Colorado Avalanche 4-2
Stanley Cup Finals:
1 Edmonton Oilers def 1 Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2
Conn Smythe Winner: Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)
McDavid vs. Matthews is the matchup I’ve been dying to see for years now; these are going to be two of the greatest players of all-time, and we need to see them go head to head at some point, so why not now! I also would like to point out how I hate this playoff system; I don’t want to see the divisions just play each other, I want them to mix up! That’s the point of the playoffs; to see teams from across all divisions play each other. This really screws the Bruins and the Ducks, both of whom I might have picked to get to the conference finals if the playoffs were NBA style. I’ll have to wait until next year when they change the format yet again.
Now let’s predict the major award winners!
Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP): Trevor Zegras (Anaheim Ducks)
Connor McDavid is the best hockey player of my lifetime. I wasn’t alive for Bobby Orr or Wayne Gretzky, but this guy is going to be remembered for a really long time. With that said, Trevor Zegras is going to win the MVP this season. The Ducks are going from a rebuilding team to a 100 point squad, and Zegras will lead the league in goals and points. The Quack Attack is officially Back!
Vezina Trophy (Goalie of the Year): Jeremy Swayman (Boston Bruins)
Go Black Bears! As a former student at the University of Maine, I have a soft spot for any and all Black Bears in the NHL. But I think Swayman genuinely has a shot to be an incredible goalie (like another former Black Bear Ben Bishop last decade), and this is the year he makes the leap. Look for Boston to be much improved, and Swayman to be the reason why.
Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year): Owen Power (Buffalo Sabres)
This is a crapshoot, but I’m going with the guy that does have a little NHL experience to take a leap and be the best rookie in this class. The Sabres won’t be good, so they better have some developing youth.
James Norris Memorial Trophy (Best Defensive Player): Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche)
Look for Makar to win this award again this season. The Avalanche will be the best team in the league, so they have to win something right? Makar is a special talent, so look for him to win this award yet again.
Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year): Dallas Eakins (Anaheim Ducks)
Have I mentioned I’m high on this Ducks team? (They better not screw me like the Colorado Rockies did this year… Fuck the Rockies.) The Ducks are going from lottery team to contender, and the standings will reflect that.
There you have it! All my predictions for points, awards and the playoffs for the 2022-23 NHL season. Given my track record for over/unders, you should be taking those predictions to your nearest bookie and tell em Adam sent you. Make sure to check back in throughout the year for my NHL quarter polls to see what I got right, and more importantly, what I got wrong!