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The NHL is back! At the same time, this season will have a completely different look for this year. Since Canada has travel restrictions; the NHL has set up four separate divisions. For instance, all teams in Canada will play each other. Meanwhile, all the other divisions have also changed.

The NHL is Back

With the divisions changing for the 2021 season; the season will be 56 games When the season begins; the division will be broken into the following.

In the Central Division, the teams that will play each other throughout the regular season are the following:

  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Dallas Stars
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Florida Panthers
  • Nashville Predators

In the East Division, the teams that will play each other during the regular season are the following:

  • Boston Bruins
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • New Jersey Devils
  • New York Islanders
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • New York  Rangers
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Washington Capitals

In the North Division, the teams that will play one another during the regular season are the following:

  • Calgary Flames
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Montreal Canadians
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Winnipeg Jets

Finally, in the West Division, the teams that will face each other during the regular season are the following:

  • Anaheim Ducks
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Minnesota Wild
  • San Jose Sharks
  • St Louis Blues
  • Vegas Golden Knights

How this Will Impact the Teams

Since some of these teams are rivals; they will face each other 8 times instead of 2 times. Moreover, some of the Canadian teams have rivals with some of the U.S. teams; and, this may impact people tuning in.

Because the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Bruins were competitive during the regular season; the change means they will no longer be playing each other during the regular season. And, since the Lightning won the Stanley Cup; this could be an exciting opportunity for some of the other teams to rise to the occasion. To read about the Lightning’s run in the playoffs; be sure to visit our Tampa Bay Lightning Wins the Stanley Cup post.

Since some of these teams fall into later time zones; will the fans want to tune into these late games? In essence, if a player changes divisions; they will no longer have to face their old team.

The NHL is Back – Playoffs

Due to the changes; the top 4 teams in each division will make the playoffs. Not only will the teams play each other during the regular season; but also the first two rounds of the playoffs will be played within the division.

In conclusion, how will this shortened season and the changes impact the regular season?