NHL Standings

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Intro to NHL Standings

The NHL is the highest level players can reach in hockey and is one of the major sports leagues in the U.S. Teams play against division rivals and the rest of the league to make it to the NHL Playoffs at the end of the season. Teams reach the playoffs by finishing as one of the top eight teams in their conference at the end of the regular season.   

NHL standings determine how each team is ranked in their divisions. The league is made up of four divisions which are divided into two conferences. The rankings are based on each team’s win/loss records, meaning the teams with the best records in each conference will have a chance to play for the championship of that conference and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Teams also battle in the NHL standings for the Presidents’ Trophy. This is given at the end of each season to the team with the league’s best record.

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Understanding NHL Standings

Fans who follow the NHL should also understand how the standings work. NHL standings are different from other major sports in that teams are ranked by the number of points they have in their division. For NHL standings, three points are awarded for each win in regulation time, two points for an overtime win, and one for an overtime loss. 

Games can no longer end in a tie in the NHL. The NHL teams with the most points in each division advance to the playoffs.   

The most popular NHL picks are always the teams that are higher in the standings during the regular season. Once the playoffs start, the only thing that matters is wins and losses, and the points awarded like during regular-season games no longer matter. Teams that make it to the playoffs have the best NHL odds of winning the Stanley Cup at the end of each season. 

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