NHL Regular Season Point Totals – The Best & The Worst
by Rick Bouch Scores & Statson
It is given each year to the team with the highest point total at the end of the regular season. Winning the President’s Trophy will give a team an easier run in the postseason, something that didn’t happen with last year’s winner.
Despite leading the league with 128 points, the Tampa Bay Lightning were swept in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Even so, most NHL betting predictions favor the Lightning to repeat as President’s Trophy winners. There are plenty of reasons why.
Can anyone catch Tampa Bay? What about the other end of the spectrum? Which teams will finish at the bottom of the President’s Cup standings? Here’s a look at how we see the NHL regular-season points race panning out.
President’s Trophy is Lightning’s to Lose The reviews from top sportsbooks for NHL are all choosing Tampa Bay to repeat as the President’s Trophy winner. The Lightning finished the regular season with a 62-16-4 record giving them 128 points. That total was 21 points better than any other team in the NHL. With a lineup that stays virtually intact, how could anyone bet against them?
The Over-Under for the Lightning is set at 108.5 for the 2019-20 season. All the team’s key pieces from a year ago remain NHL-leading scorer Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. Kucherov scored 41 goals and had 128 points. Stamkos was fourth in the league in goals with 45 and finished with 98 points and the 6-foot-6-inch Hedman had 54 as one of the league’s best and most-feared defensemen. Add in Brayden Point, who scored 41 goals and had 92 points and it is easy to see why Tampa Bay is the favorite to the lead the NHL in points once again.
It’s Time for Toronto The Maple Leafs have never won a President’s Cup, but that might change in 2019-20. Toronto finished tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference with 100 points last year. Like Tampa Bay, the Maple Leafs return the core of last year’s team that includes the likes of Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and Auston Matthews. Marner led the team with 94 points, Tavares scored 47 goals and 88 points and Matthews, who missed 14 games, scored 37 goals and had 73 points. The Over-Under for Toronto is set at 102.5.
The Bottom of the Barrel While teams like Tampa Bay, Toronto, and even Vegas (102.5) will fight for the President’s Trophy, another battle will be happening at the bottom of the standings. Last year, the Ottawa Senators went 29-47-6. They recorded the fewest wins in the league and totaled an NHL-low 64 points. Not much is expected of the Senators in 2019-20 either.
Thomas Chabot is the lone bright spot for the Senators and could be a Norris Trophy nominee. The rest of the team? Not so good. That’s why Ottawa’s Over-Under is set at 70.5.
If not Ottawa, then maybe the Los Angeles Kings (74.5) will take over the bottom spot in the standings. The Kings were a playoff team just two seasons ago winning 45 games and finishing with 98 points. That all changed last year when Los Angeles went 31-42-9 for 71 points, the fewest in the Western Conference.
Anze Kopitar (22 G, 60 PTS) and Drew Doughty (37 A, 45PTS) are still very good, but the rest of the Kings are not. L.A. was dead last in scoring (2.43 goals per game) and 10th in goals against per game (3.16). Not much has changed in Los Angeles, so expect similar results in 2019-20. That means a fight with Ottawa for the bottom spot in the President’s Trophy standings.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.