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National Hockey League (NHL) involves the best hockey clubs of Canada and USA. The competition annually draws a lot of attention, so it’s no wonder that many people try to predict NHL results and place bets on the tournament.
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The tournament structure consists of two parts — a regular season and NHL playoffs. In total, the competition involves 31 participants from both USA and Canada. Each team belongs to one of the two conferences (Western and Eastern), which are divided into two divisions each. Divisions involve an unequal number of NHL teams.
During the regular season, each participant plays 82 matches, half of them at home and a half away. First, participants meet each team from their division either for 4 or 5 times. After that, they play 3 fixtures with each of the opposite division teams from their conference. Then starts the inter-conference stage: teams meet each of the opposite conference members twice.
3 top-scorers from each division are eligible for NHL playoffs. The next two clubs from the conference rating (regardless of their division) get a wild-card.
Competition playoffs have a best-of-seven format and consist of three rounds apart from the final. First, each conference’s top-scorer meets the lowest scored wild-card club from its conference. The winner of the opposite division plays with the remaining wild-card club. Divisions’ runners-up compete with the 3rd placed teams.
After that, the winners of the first round matches compete within their divisions. Then division’s winners meet each other within the conferences. These fixtures determine, who will fight for the main trophy in the final.
NHL scores are awarded the following way:
- winning result — 2 points;
- shootout or overtime loss — 1 point (in case if a goalkeeper wasn’t replaced);
- regular time loss — 0 points.
There are NHL teams, which managed to show record-breaking results during the league’s existence. And it would be fair to say that Canada can boast more record-breakers than the USA.
Absolute top-scorers are Montreal Canadiens, who obtain 24 NHL trophies. Another Canadian club, Toronto Maple Leafs, has 13 titles. However, among top-scorers are USA clubs, too. The most successful of them is the Detroit Red Wings with 9 NHL titles in total. Another USA representatives, Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins, have 6 NHL trophies each.
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