NHL Season Points Totals Predictions: Over and Under Picks for all Teams
The 2017-18 NHL campaign is here. For the first time since the Islanders won four Stanley Cups in a row from 1980 through 1983, a team—Pittsburgh—is going for a three-peat. For now, though, the focus is on the marathon that is the regular season. Normally that is great news for Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals, who have won the Presidents’ Trophy on two consecutive occasions. But is Washington on the way down? Is Toronto, which almost beat the Caps in the playoffs, the team of the future—and the present? Those questions, and more, will be discussed in the form of over/under point totals.
Best over play
Toronto Maple Leafs (95.5) - Over . Thanks mostly to the arrival of Auston Matthews, Toronto surged from 69 points in 2015-16 (and 68 in 2014-15) to 95 last season. The Maple Leafs qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13 and were extremely competitive with Washington over the course of six games. Matthews, the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, wrapped up his rookie campaign-which began with a four-goal debut-at 69 points (40 goals, 20 assists). Toronto added 37-year-old Patrick Marleau to provide leadership for Matthews and other young stars.
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Best under play
Colorado Avalanche (69.5) - Under . Colorado was the worst team in hockey last season, and it wasn't even close. No one else had fewer than 69 points; the Avalanche had 48. Their record has gotten worse in each of the last three years, and they did nothing of note to improve this past offseason. Colorado's only real hope is that newcomer Nail Yakupov enjoys a resurgence in a new setting. The 23-year-old forward was the No. 1 overall pick in 2012, but his career never took off in either Edmonton or St. Louis. The Avalanche's defense, meanwhile, is not deep at all.
Anaheim Ducks (105.5) - Over . After losing in a Game 7 four years in a row, the Ducks finally won one last season (in the Western Conference semifinals against Edmonton). As for regular seasons, those have never been a problem (at least 103 points in four straight years).
Arizona Coyotes (74.5) - Under . The Coyotes have not finished better than ninth place in the Western Conference since 2011-12, the last time they reached the playoffs. Arizona will look different this season as various offseason moves included a new head coach (Rick Tocchet).
Boston Bruins (94.5) - Over . Boston has accumulated between 93 and 96 points the last three years, making the playoffs only once (in 2016-17) during this stretch. The Bruins have largely the same team intact, and they improved last season following a coaching change.
Buffalo Sabres (87.5) - Under . The Sabres finished with 78 points last year, haven't earned more than 81 since 2011-12, and haven't reached the playoffs since 2010-11. They are young and presumably on the rise, but it may take time to gel after making a ton of offseason moves.
Calgary Flames (95.5) - Over . Calgary has been wildly up and down in recent seasons, most recently jumping from 77 points two years ago to 94 points in 2016-17. Will the Flames finally be able to establish some consistency? Goalie Mike Smith headlined the offseason acquisitions.
Carolina Hurricanes (93.5) - Under . The Hurricanes have not placed better than 10th in the Eastern Conference since 2010-11, and their most recent playoff appearance came in 2008-09. Carolina added goalie Scott Darling from Chicago, but that may not be a big enough move.
Chicago Blackhawks (100.5) - Over . Not including a strike-shortened season in which they won the Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks have exceeded the century mark in points for five consecutive years. Former team members Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp are back.
Columbus Blue Jackets (95.5) - Over . A ridiculous 16-game winning streak highlighted Columbus' 108 points in 2016-17. Another such run obviously cannot be expected, but the Blue Jackets should remain a force having acquired forward Artemi Panarin from the Blackhawks.
Dallas Stars (98.5) - Under . Dallas fell off the face of the Earth from 109 points two years ago to 79 points in 2016-17. The Stars should be much improved thanks to the acquisition of goalie Ben Bishop and new head coach Ken Hitchcock. But a 20-point surge is a lot to ask.
Detroit Red Wings (77.5) - Under . These aren't your grandfather's Red Wings. They have not won a playoff series since 2012-13 and did not even reach the postseason last year with just 79 points. Detroit now finds it tough to lure free agents, so another struggle is likely in the cards.
Edmonton Oilers (103.5) - Over . It's a new era in Edmonton, led by reigning NHL MVP Connor McDavid. The Oilers soared from 70 points two seasons ago to 103 in 2016-17 and made a playoff appearance for the first time since 2005-06. They are still on the rise.
Florida Panthers (85.5) - Under . The Panthers' have not won a playoff series since 1995-96, and their 103-point effort in 2015-16 was clearly an aberration after they slumped back to 81 points last season. Florida has totally cleaned house, complete with a new coaching staff.
Los Angeles Kings (89.5) - Under . L.A. lifted the Stanley Cup twice in a three-year span from 2011 through 2014. It has not won a playoff series since. The Kings earned 86 points in 2016-17, 16 points less than their previous effort. Former assistant John Stevens is in as head coach.
Minnesota Wild (96.5) - Over . The Wild picked up a franchise-best 106 points last year but lost in the first round to St. Louis. Their main parts of the roster are back, led by goalie Devan Dubnyk. Losing forward Jason Pominville may hurt, but this is largely the same team.
Montreal Canadiens (99.5) - Over . Montreal won the Atlantic Division with 103 points in 2016-17 and has reached the century mark in three of the last four years. The Canadiens added defenseman Jonathan Drouin and forward Alexander Radulov to make up for some departures.
Nashville Predators (98.5) - Under . The remarkably consistent Predators have totaled at least 88 points in 12 straight seasons (not including the strike). They earned 94 last year and are the defending Western Conference champs. Captain Mike Fisher's retirement may hurt just a bit.
New Jersey Devils (74.5) - Over . New Jersey was the worst team in the Eastern Conference in 2016-17, and it wasn't close (70 points; eight behind Buffalo). The Devils, who have not reached the playoffs since 2011-12, drafted Nico Hischier No. 1 overall, and he is NHL-ready.
New York Islanders (88.5) - Under . The Islanders accrued at least 100 points for two straight years but took a step back in 2016-17 and missed the postseason by one point with 94. They did not do much adding via free agency, and John Tavares' contract situation may distract.
New York Rangers (95.5) - Under . Goalie Henrik Lundqvist is 35 years old and is coming off the worst season of his 12-year career (albeit still a decent one). The Rangers tried to get younger elsewhere on the ice, to the extent that it almost looks like they are in rebuilding mode.
Ottawa Senators (91.5) - Over . Regular season and playoffs combined, Ottawa just turned in its best effort since 2005-06-accumulating 98 points and coming with one game of the Stanley Cup Finals. The defense should be even better in year two under coach Guy Boucher.
Philadelphia Flyers (91.5) - Under . The Flyers have alternated reaching the playoffs and then missing them dating back to 2011-12. If the trend continues, they will be back in the mix following last year's 88-point disappointment. But an underwhelming offseason says otherwise.
Pittsburgh Penguins (104.5) - Under . Sidney Crosby and company are back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. Their regular seasons have also impressed, with 104 points in 2015-16 and 111 in 2016-17. But a change at goalie and slew of departed veterans may result in a slump.
San Jose Sharks (96.5) - Over . The Sharks recorded 98 points in 2015-16 and 99 in 2016-17. The former led to a Stanley Cup runner-up finish and the latter resulted in a first-round exit. A veteran unit led by Joe Thornton and Brent Burns may not begin to slip for one or two years.
St. Louis Blues (95.5) - Over . This has been St. Louis' mantra the past six years: finish in the top three of the division, comfortably reach the playoffs, and lose relatively early. The Blues' 99 points were down just a bit from previous seasons, but the same core will prevent any real slide.
Tampa Bay Lightning (103.5) - Over . Tampa Bay tied for ninth in the Eastern Conference last season, one point out of a playoff spot. It was the Lightning's first postseason miss since 2012-13, but they should be back if they can stay healthy this time. Talent is not an issue.
Vancouver Canucks (72.5) - Under . Nothing short of a sinking ship the past two years, Vancouver finished with the second-worst record in 2016-17 with 69 points. Twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin are 37 years old now yet still remain by far team's most reliable scorers.
Vegas Golden Knights (67.5) - Under . Four expansion teams during the 82-game era have averaged 60.25 points per season. Columbus (2000-01) was the best of that bunch with 71. Vegans snagged goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, but it may not have much in the way of offense.
Washington Capitals (103.5) - Under . Like the baseball team that shares their city, the Capitals never win in the playoffs despite dominating the regular season. They have compiled the NHL's best record two straight years. A ton of salary-cap hits may prevent three in a row.
Winnipeg Jets (92.5) - Over . The Jets have not won a postseason series since moving from Atlanta in 2011-12 and they finished ninth in the Western Conference with 87 points this past year. Winnipeg, though, is clearly on the rise with youngsters Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers.
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