NHL Season Preview

George Gowman, Contributor

This year’s NHL season is looking a bit different than it normally would have. COVID-19 prompted an abrupt finish to the 2019-2020 season during the summer in Edmonton and Toronto, Canada, with the Tampa Bay Lighting taking home the Stanley Cup. The 2021 season started on January 13th and is scheduled to wrap up on May 9th. COVID-19 has changed how the teams will be able to travel. The NHL has also readjusted the divisions. The North division is all the Canadian teams, and then there is the west, central and east divisions. With no fans, or very limited amount of fans, this year teams have adjusted to bringing their own energy.

All the NHL teams; credit: NHL.com

The Stanley Cup favorites right now are theColorado Avalanche. They are led by center Nathan MacKinnon as they look for their first Stanley Cup in 20 years.The Tampa Bay Lightning have a good chance of getting out of the east and making it back to the Stanley Cup finals as they are trying to go back to back. The Toronto Maple Leafs are the favorites to win the North Division as John Taveras and Company are trying to get Toronto over the edge and win the Cup. Out West, the Vegas Golden Knights look to improve on last season as they hope to win their first cup.The new playoff format will be interesting because thereare no longer wild card teams. Instead, the top 4 teams from each division will make it, andthey will play each other accordingly 1v4, 2v3.. It will be interesting to see how they will be able to get 56 games in within a 4 month period. Hopefully we will be able to see some hockey this year and the season will be able to go on without any interruptions.