Bet on the Top NHL Teams 

Betting on the top NHL teams is one way to make the NHL season even more interesting. Whether you're a die-hard New Jersey Devils fan, or just an unbiased spectator, putting your money on the outcome of hockey games is more convenient than ever. 

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The National Hockey League is packed with intense action and entertainment throughout the regular season, but especially during the playoffs. As you watch the classic hockey rivalries play out and tensions rise, there's not much more that’s quite as exciting. 

In this article, we'll go over where you can bet on the top NHL teams legally in New Jersey. We'll also cover the basics of the NHL, from the overall structure to the most legendary brawls in hockey history. 

Top Sites for Betting on NHL Teams in New Jersey  

There aren’t many betting markets that are as exciting as NHL hockey. Both the regular and postseason are heated in terms of action, and there are many wagering options.

Fans and gambling enthusiasts in the Garden State can rejoice since they now have access to plenty of legal and convenient sportsbooks. Some sports betting operators in NJ where you can stay on top of the odds and the action include Bet MGM, Borgata, and SugarHouse. 

When you sign up at BetMGM, you'll receive up to a $500 risk-free bet as well as a free $10 weekly bet. The brand itself is one of the most reputable in the industry, and you can take advantage of many enticing rewards. MGM Resorts is an official sports betting partner of the NHL and has been since the landmark 2018 deal. 

Another well-known name in the industry is Borgata. NJ hockey bettors can get access to odds and place their wagers through the Borgata Online. This platform is well designed and easy to navigate. You can get all of the information you need to make informed bets.

SugarHouse is a local operator that is available to bettors in both NJ and Pennsylvania. Whether you're a Flyers, Devils, or Rangers fan, this site is designed for you. With local pride and incredible Hockey betting options, this is an excellent platform for NJ sports betting enthusiasts. Keep an eye out, though; SugarHouse is soon rebranding as Rivers Casino. 

Local NJ teams

The only NHL franchise based in the Garden State is the Devils. The team has been representing the state in hockey since 1974. Today, the team's home base is the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. The Devils are a member of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference alongside neighboring rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers, and NY Rangers. 

Current Team and Conference Structure in NHL 

There are currently 31 teams in the NHL, 24 of those teams are based in the United States and seven in Canada. The league is divided into two conferences and four divisions. 

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division:

  • Boston Bruins- Boston, Massachusetts
  • Buffalo Sabres- Buffalo, New York
  • Detroit Red Wings- Detroit, Michigan
  • Florida Panthers- Sunrise, Florida
  • Montreal Canadiens- Montreal, Quebec
  • Ottawa Senators- Ottawa, Ontario
  • Tampa Bay Lightning- Tampa, Florida
  • Toronto Maple Leaves, Toronto, Ontario

 Metropolitan Division:

  • Carolina Hurricanes- Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Columbus Blue Jackets- Columbus, Ohio
  • New Jersey Devils- Newark, New Jersey
  • New York Islanders- New York City, New York
  • New York Rangers- New York City, New York
  • Philadelphia Flyers- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Pittsburgh Penguins- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Washington Capitals, Washington, DC

 

Western Conference

Central Division:

  • Chicago Blackhawks- Chicago, Illinois
  • Colorado Avalanche- Denver, Colorado
  • Dallas Stars- Dallas, Texas
  • Minnesota Wild- Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Nashville Predators- Nashville, Tennessee
  • St. Louis Blues- St. Louis, Missouri

Pacific Division

  • Anaheim Ducks- Anaheim, California
  • Arizona Coyotes- Glendale, Arizona
  • Calgary Flames- Calgary, Alberta
  • Edmonton Oilers- Edmonton, Alberta
  • Los Angeles Kings- Los Angeles, California
  • San Jose Sharks- San Jose, California
  • Vancouver Canucks- Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Vegas Golden Knights- Paradise, Nevada

Bet on the Playoffs: Where the Best Teams Meet 

The postseason of hockey is intense. Betting on the playoffs is especially thrilling, nerve-wracking, and potentially profitable. If you stick to some core principles, you can take advantage of one of the most exciting betting markets out there. 

NHL playoffs offer a more controlled betting environment for beginners. It provides an opportunity for experts and novices to practice good betting habits. 

Playoff Brackets

The Stanley Cup Playoffs is an elimination tournament. The brackets consist of four rounds of best-of-seven championships. 

The two conferences have eight teams that qualify for the playoffs based on their total points scored in the regular season. Teams in first, second, and third place in each of the four divisions will qualify automatically for the playoffs. 

Two additional teams are added from each conference if they have the highest point totals of the other teams in the conference, regardless of their division. The added four teams are known as the wild cards. 

In the First Round, teams are split by division into two brackets. Each bracket features the top three divisional qualifiers and one wildcard. The lowest-seeded wild card is matched with the division winner. The second and third place teams are paired. 

The winners of both First Round series then advance to the Second Round, and the reseeding continues. The winners of the Second Round advance to the Conference Finals. Eventually, the two Conference champions move to the Stanley Cup finals. 

Playoff Game Location Framework

Each of the playoff series is played in a 2-2-1-1-1 format, which means that the team with the home-ice advantage will host four games (one, two, five, and seven), while the opponent hosts three (games three, four, and six). 

Since the rounds are best-of-seven, the last three games are only played if they're needed. There's no need for games five, six, and seven if a team is victorious for all four of the first games. 

In the first two rounds of playoffs, the higher-seeded team has the home-ice advantage, regardless of their record. After these rounds, home-ice advantage is given to the team with the better regular-season record, irrespective of their seeding. 

Wildcards & Byes

A wild card is a team within a conference with the best record that did not finish in the top three. In the NHL, there are two wildcards in each conference that move onto the playoffs. Since the top three teams from each of the four divisions automatically move to the playoffs, the wildcards make up for the other four spots out of 16 teams total. 

NHL Team Performance

Everyone from Jersey knows the tales of the New Jersey Devil. He runs rampant through the Pine Barrens and is often described as a goat-like creature with bat wings. Eerie right?

In 1928, the Colorado Rockies picked up and moved to the East Coast in 1982; they embraced the little Devil as their namesake and mascot. Since then, the NJ Devils have been rocking professional hockey in the state. 

New Jersey team legacy and past performance

It took a few years for the NJ Devils to lay a solid foundation in their new home. The first few years were defined by steady improvement, though they were unable to reach the playoffs. In 1987, however, the Devils achieved their first winning record and subsequent postseason qualification. 

The next few seasons also proved to be disappointing, without a trip to the playoffs. In 1993-94 the Devil's performance picked up. With 106 regular-season points, the team had set a franchise record. They went on to the Eastern Conference Finals but lost in game seven to the Rangers, who went on to win the Stanley Cup. 

In the 1994-95 season, the Devils won it all and happily brought the Cup over the Hudson River. That year, Claud Lemieux was awarded the playoffs MVP. 

While they didn't hold on for the Cup the next few seasons, the Devils clinched the W in the 1999-2000 season. They won again the following year. After two straight Stanley Cup Finals wins, they were projected to be victorious for the third time, but lost in the Conference Quarterfinals. 

It's been nine years since the New Jersey Devils have taken home the Stanley Cup, and the past few years have been inconsistent for the team. Player injuries and upsets have defined the last couple of seasons. 

Best teams in NHL and past performance

Any hockey fan knows that picking the best NHL teams is a challenge. There are many factors involved, including past performance and current players. That said, some organizations have incredible records of success.

The Montreal Canadiens, for example, have won the Stanley Cup Finals a total of 24 times. This franchise has a better record than any other in the league, and also one of the oldest. The franchise was founded in 1909, predating the NHL. The Canadiens are often referred to as the greatest team in hockey history. 

The team with the second-highest amount of Cup wins is also Canadian. The Toronto Maple Leaves have won the trophy thirteen times, all before the year 1967. 

That said, looking at recent performance, the best four teams are based in the USA. The Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers, and Colorado Avalanche are standing top of the power rankings. 

Notable team rivalries in NHL 

Classic NHL Rivalries
Montreal Canadiens & Boston Bruins
New Jersey Devils & New York Rangers
Colorado Avalanche & Detroit Red Wings
Philadelphia Flyers & Pittsburgh Penguins
New York Islanders & New York Rangers

The most classic rivalry in NHL history is undoubtedly between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins. Both teams are part of the Original Six and have a profoundly ingrained patriotism for country and city. 

Boston and Montreal have played more games combined than any other pair in league history, including 33 playoff series. 

When it comes to conquering an inferiority complex, the Devils have it rough. The team plays in the shadow of the Flyers, with a super passionate Philly fanbase, and also two major NYC based franchises. This creates tension between the 'devils in the middle.'

Since winning three Stanley Cups has boosted their name in the league, the NJ team is now on par with its glamorous neighbors. Still, there is an air of tension in every game between the Rangers and the Devils. 

One of the most famous brawls in the history of the NHL took place on March 26, 1997, between the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings. The brawl has many nicknames such as "Bloody Wednesday," Fight Night at the Joe," and "Brawl in Hockeytown." This huge fight brewed after a previous on-ice incident that occurred in the 1996 Western Conference Finals. 

Two of the best current rivalries take place right next door, on both sides of Jersey. The success of both the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins has created fierce animosity between the in-state competitors. The fights between the two teams drive the fans wild. 

Another in-state rivalry is between the New York Islanders and the Rangers. Both teams hail from NYC and struggle to coexist peacefully. 

Notable NHL players in New Jersey 

The current NJ Devils team is stacked with talent. Current team leaders include Kyle Palmieri, Nikita Gusev, PK Subban, and Kevin Rooney. 

The NHL drafted Kyle Palmieri in 2009. The 29-year-old has been playing in the league for over nine years. He's the right-wing for the Devils and is leading the team in goal points this season. 

Left-wing or the Devils, Nikita Gusev, hails from Russia and was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2012. The 27-year-old now leads the team in the number of assists.

In terms of defense, the best Devil is PK Subban. With 79 penalty minutes, Subban holds down the team in times of pressure. Center, Kevin Rooney, is also notable. The 27-year-old just has three years of NHL experience, but he's making a name for himself in the state of New Jersey. 

 

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Sacha

2 June 2020
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