Special Edition: The best game you can name

NHL 101 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Special Edition

From The Gist Team

Hello, you!

After a relatively quiet NHL offseason, the puck drops on a fresh regular season tonight. So naturally, today’s newsletter is all about the season setup, the teams to watch, and the major storylines.

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Quote of the Day

Quote

As they say in hockey, let’s do that hockey.

Chance the Rapper as Lazlo Holmes. Source: Clarkson Men’s Hockey/Twitter

— Chance the Rapper as Lazlo Holmes, a hilariously clueless SNL hockey reporter. Let’s do that hockey, indeed.

The Breakdown

🏒 How it works

Source: Rich Graessle/Getty Images

The NHL consists of 32 teams divided between the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. Those conferences are further split into two divisions — the Atlantic and Metropolitan in the East, and Central and Pacific in the West.

Each team will play 82 games over the next six months — 41 at home and 41 away — to rack up points in the official standings: two points for a win, one point for an overtime loss, and a big ol’ goose egg for a regulation-time loss.

  • The top three teams in each division move on to the postseason, along with the two next-best in each conference, for a grand total of 16 teams battling it out for the greatest trophy in sports.

🏆 The reigning champs: What happens in Vegas

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Entering just their seventh NHL season, the Vegas Golden Knights topped the Florida Panthers in last year’s Stanley Cup Final, becoming the fastest expansion franchise to lift Lord Stanley in the league’s modern history.

  • And they made it look easy. Vegas needed just five games to defeat their Eastern Conference foes and only lost six games throughout their entire postseason run.

Vegas was (and should still be) a well-oiled machine. Twelve different Golden Knights notched at least 10 points (one for a goal, one for an assist) throughout the playoffs, with star center Jack Eichel, forward Jonathan Marchessault, and captain Mark Stone leading the way.

  • Whether you tune in for the celebrity cameos, the wild pre-game performances, or the electric hockey, Vegas is sure to entertain. They'll begin their title defense against fellow league young’un, the Seattle Kraken, tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET.

🥊 The contenders

Source: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs: Don’t look now, but the Leafs are once again a popular betting choice to win this year’s Stanley Cup. With their title drought reaching an NHL-record 56 years, all eyes will be on very expensive star forward Auston Matthews to get the job done.

Edmonton Oilers: Even if the Leafs can’t break the curse and bring a Stanley Cup north of the border for the first time in over 30 years, the Oilers might be Canada’s best shot.

  • Despite being led by two of the NHL’s best — centers Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl — the Oilers haven’t made a Cup Final since 2006. Edmonton fans will be looking for much more than highlight-reel performances this year.

Carolina Hurricanes: One of the most fun teams in the league thanks to their sassy social presence and rowdy “Storm Surge” celebrations, the ’Canes — led by forwards Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho — have been a perennial postseason presence since 2019. But they’ll need a big surge to make a deep postseason run.

Colorado Avalanche: The only thing stopping the Avs from winning their second Stanley Cup in three years is injuries. But even with captain Gabriel Landeskog expected to miss another season, Colorado still has one of the deepest rosters in the league including generational talent, center Nathan MacKinnon, and 2022 Norris Trophy winning defenseman Cale Makar.

New Jersey Devils: The Devils have not-so-quietly built one of the best, young rosters in the league, including a pair of first overall draft pick centers, Nico Hirschier (2017) and Jack Hughes (2019). And Jack’s younger brother, Luke will also be looking to make an impact in his first full NHL season. Nothing like a little brotherly competition to up the ante.

📺 How to tune in

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Settle in for a thrilling season ahead, with regular-season action running from October through April. Check out the full schedule, then don your jersey and tune into tonight’s tripleheader starting at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada. Nothing like the good ol’ hockey game.

The GIST's Picks

Hi. It’s us. We’re the recommenders, it’s us.

👀 Who to know

Kori Cheverie and Jessica Campbell, who made NHL history this preseason as the first women to coach an NHL team for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Seattle Kraken, respectively.

  • Cheverie will lead the Montreal franchise of the new Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) when play begins in January, while Campbell is a full-time assistant coach for the AHL’s Coachella Valley Firebirds (the Kraken’s minor league affiliate).

📺 What to watch

Hockey fan Snoop Dogg explaining some of hockey’s most fun (and weird) traditions including catfish, octopi, and rats. An oldie but a goodie.

🎶 What to listen to

The Hockey Song.” Written by Canadian folksinger Stompin’ Tom Connors, you can’t really enjoy the game without listening to belting this staple first.

Take Your Pick

Seattle Kraken logo At Vegas Golden Knights logo

Seattle Kraken

Vegas Golden Knights

+152 To Win -184
Will Seattle take down the reigning champs on opening night? Cast your vote then tune in at game time.

Seattle Kraken

Vegas Golden Knights

Sports Betting Guide

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