Tue 01/02/2022 - 04:45 EST

    NHL 2022 All-Star Picks: Will The Pacific Continue Dominating?

    NHL 2022 All-Star Picks: Will The Pacific Continue Dominating?

    This is the sixth edition of the NHL's much-lauded 3-on-3 format, one that a division has dominated: the Pacific Division. Thanks to superstars like Connor McDavid, the Pacific has won three of the last five All-Star games while the Central Division and Atlantic Division have yet to win one. Looking at the current hockey betting odds, we expect the Pacific to once again be a favourite to win it all.

    Team #1 sports-interaction sports-interaction Team #2

     Atlantic

    TBA TBA Metropolitan

    Pacific

    TBA TBA Central

    NHL 2022 All-Star Rosters: Ranking The Teams

    Not all All-Star teams were made the same, especially with the NHL's mandatory rule of representing every team. Looking at the four teams, it's clear why the Pacific Division is set to win again while the Central Division, especially with some injuries, is a longshot to win on the NHL betting odds. But take it with a grain of salt as we rank the four teams based on their star power:

    4. Central

    • All-Star Record: 1-5
    • Best Finish: Lost Final (2019)
    • 2020 Result: Lost to Atlantic in semi-finals
    • Best Players: Cale Makar, Kirill Kaprizov, Roman Josi

    The Central Division may be the deepest division in the NHL, but that does not translate to having the best lineup in the All-Star Game. Losing Nathan MacKinnon, who would have been the team's best player, also stings. There is plenty of firepowers here with Kaprizov and Kyle Connor and this team may have the best defensemen with Makar and Josi. But it lacks that "superstar" to push it over the hump.  

    3. Metropolitan

    • All-Star Record: 4-3
    • Best Finish: Won Final (2017, 2019)
    • 2020 Result: Lost to Atlantic in Semi-finals 
    • Best Players: Alex Ovechkin, Sebastian Aho, Tristan Jarry

    The Metropolitan has been the only other team to win the NHL All-Star game. The current team features a nice blend of longtime stars and up-and-comers like Ovechkin and Aho, respectively. Jarry could be the goaltender that "steals" this tournament. The team also features two of the top-three leading goal-scorers of the league. As far as "balance", the Metropolitan has it in spades.

    2. Atlantic 

    • All-Star Record: 3-5
    • Best Finish: Lost Final (2016, 2018, 2020)
    • 2020 Result: Lost to Pacific in Final
    • Best Players: Auston Matthews, Victor Hedman, Andrei Vasilevskiy

    If we made an All-Star team with just the top three teams of the division, we could still have one of the best this year. The Atlantic Division has its best shot at finally winning the All-Star Game. You have your unstoppable goal-scorer in Matthews, your elite d-man in Hedman, and the best goaltending pair in Vasilevskiy and Jack Campbell. 

    1. Pacific

    • All-Star Record: 7-2
    • Best Finish: Won Final (2016, 2018, 2020)
    • 2020 Result: Defeated  Atlantic in Final 
    • Best Players: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Mark Stone

    The Pacific is on top as usual. As long as McDavid and Draisaitl are on the team, it has a shot to beat anyone. But they're just the tip of the iceberg. Johnny Gaudreau and Timo Meier are elite snipers too while Stone will bring a rare combo of skill and strength. In net, John Gibson and Thatcher Demko will challenge Vasilevskiy and Campbell as the tournament's best tandem. 

    Predicting the 2022 NHL All-Star Game

    The All-Star game's format remains the same: each conference pits their teams against each other with a 3-on-3 single-elimination format. The winners then advance to the final to decide the champion. Once again, the Pacific division has the best chances per their NHL Pacific betting odds. But with the other three teams featuring top-tier talent, a few upsets may happen.

    Atlantic vs Metropolitan 

    The Atlantic Division leads this series 3-2 and if the trend continues, the Metropolitan should win this year. It all depends on what you prefer in a team: the speed and skill of the Atlantic or the gritty yet prolific build of the Metropolitan. In a normal hockey game, we'd lean with the Metropolitan. But a 3-on-3 exhibition game? The open ice plays to the strengths of the Atlantic so we're leaning on them. SBR's Pick: Atlantic (TBA). 

    Pacific vs Central

    We'd love for an upset here but the Central Division is just outgunned, especially without MacKinnon. The Pacific Division does not only have a handful of goal-scoring juggernauts but can also mix it up with big and burly players like Stone and Adrian Kempe. And in net, we give the edge to Demko/Gibson over Juuse Saros and Cam Talbot. The Pacific continues to lord over the Central. SBR's Pick: Pacific (TBA).

    Atlantic vs Pacific

    We give the slight edge to the Pacific here as they are just a bit bigger and more proficient in goal-scoring. But the Atlantic has a sizable edge in netminding with Vasilevskiy or Campbell potentially stonewalling whatever efforts the Pacific produces. And if it ended up being a back-and-forth shootout, the Atlantic has plenty of guns to bring to the table. Bet on the Atlantic to win its first All-Star Game. SBR's Pick: Atlantic (TBA).

     

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