October 3, 2018

NHL PREVIEW: It’s time to shrink the regular season

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey, Picks

We’re at the start of another 82-game grind on the ice, which begs the question: Why?

With the exception of Major League Baseball, no sport’s schedule feels as long as the NHL’s. There’s no reason why a sport played on ice needs to stretch it’s regular season from September to April.

There’s also no reason why a sport this physical should have as many games as it does, especially with every team playing multiple back-to-backs throughout the season.

If Gary Bettman and Co. want to show just how progressive this league it is, it would be the first to cut back on the schedule, even if just by a small increment like 6-8 games.

And that way we could see the playoffs end before June, too.

Here’s how we think this season shakes out.

ATLANTIC: Toronto, Tampa Bay, Boston.

METRO: Pittsburgh, Columbus, Washington.

EAST WILD CARDS: Florida, New Jersey.

CENTRAL: Nashville, Winnipeg, St. Louis

PACIFIC: San Jose, Vegas, Edmonton

WEST WILD CARDS: Dallas, Minnesota

EASTERN FINAL: Toronto over Columbus

WESTERN FINAL: Nashville over San Jose

STANLEY CUP: Toronto over Nashville

HART TROPHY: Sidney Crosby, PIT

ART ROSS: Connor McDavid, EDM

NORRIS TROPHY: Erik Karlsson, SJ

ROCKET RICHARD: Patrick Laine, WPG

VEZINA: Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB

FIRST OVERALL PICK: As much as we’d love to see the Senators give away the top pick, we think that Arizona finishes last.

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