How Have Year-End NHL Division Leaders Finished?

How Have Year-End NHL Division Leaders Finished?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Heading into the New Year, the New York Rangers are off to a good start. Hopefully, that translates into bigger and better things in 2024.

Utilizing, — your source for New York sports betting — looked at how NHL teams that lead their division on Jan. 1 finish out the season. Do they win their division? Do they make the Stanley Cup finals, even win it? We utilized data from the last five NHL seasons (2020-21 season eliminated due to COVID-19 schedule) to develop the data. Here are the results:

How Year-End Division Leaders Finish in NHL

These results, which you won’t find on the many fine NY sports betting appscover from the 2018-19 seasons until present.

Situation No. of Teams Percentage
Win Their Division 13 of 20 65.0%
Make Conference finals 8 of 20 40.0%
Make Stanley Cup final 4 of 20 20.0%
Win Stanley Cup 2 of 20 10.0%


Rangers Have Solid Division Lead

Thirty games into this season, New York (22-7-1, 45 points) leads the Metropolitan Division by six points over the surprising Philadelphia Flyers (18-10-3, 39 points).

Since the 2018-19 season, 13 of 20 teams (65%) that led their division heading into January have won their division. A good sign for New York. Eight of the 20 teams (40%) made the conference finals. The Rangers are looking to accomplish that feat for the first time since 2015.

Four of the 20 teams (20%) made the Stanley Cup finals, and New York is looking to get there for the first time in nine years (2014). Two of the 20 teams (10%) won the Stanley Cup. The upcoming year will mark the 30-year anniversary since the Rangers won their title over the Vancouver Canucks in 1994.

BetRivers Futures on Rangers

As of Thursday afternoon, here are New York’s future odds on BetRivers NY.

New York is a heavy favorite to win the Metropolitan Division at -240, ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes (+600) and New Jersey Devils (+750). New York (+450) is just behind Boston (+425) to win the Eastern Conference. They Rangers placed fifth in odds to win the Stanley Cup (+1000), behind the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche (both +800) and the Bruins and the Dallas Stars (Both +900).

Next up for the Rangers: a home clash with the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

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Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media ( in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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