The Central division is a battle for second and third as the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Colorado Avalanche, are expected to runaway with the division crown. Last season, there were five playoff teams from the Central as Colorado won it with 119 points, Minnesota finished second with 113, and St. Louis finished in third with 109. Dallas, 98 points, and Nashville, 97, occupied the two Western Conference Wild Card spots. Removing the 2020 season, the Central division has been the Western Conference Stanley Cup representative for the past three seasons.
Central Division Betting Odds
Two Central Division Contenders
This division is a two-team race, but there is only one team that is going to win the Central. The Colorado Avalanche are the best team in the NHL and there is no team in this division that can compete with the duo of Nate MacKinnon and Cale Makar. Colorado will win this division and should clinch relatively early in the regular season.
Minnesota is a worth second-place team, but they are not in the same stratosphere as the Avs. The Wild will be a playoff team and could be the second of third best team in the West.
Fighting for the Wild Card
There are three teams who will be fighting for the final automatic playoff spot and they two Wild Card spots in the West. St. Louis is the odds-on favorite to finish third and they are a good bet based on the talent they bring back. Nashville and Dallas can certainly challenge the Blues, but it most likely Wild Card or no playoffs for these two squads.
I could see the Central finishing the same exact way it did last season, for spots 1-5, but there should still be some good storylines all season long.
Winnipeg, Arizona, and Chicago are just hoping to have some fun.