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NHL Predictions for January 18th – Early Games

NHL Predictions

NHL predictions are difficult to make. A lucky bounce either way can completely change the outcome of a game. Today’s slate of games features a few matchups that will deliver high scores. Low scoring action will be found as well with two of the NHL’s best defensive teams taking the ice. Let’s take a look at who will win with today’s NHL predictions.

NHL Predictions

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Detroit Red Wings

Head to Head: Blue Jackets 0-0 Red Wings

The Columbus Blue Jackets have a rather large distraction in the trade rumours with Pierre-Luc Dubois. If they want to win games, they will need to put that out of their minds as much as possible. Thankfully, Columbus is playing against a severely less talented team this week in the Detroit Red Wings. This will give them an opportunity to build chemistry and find their legs this season. They should have no trouble playing their disciplined team game against Detroit and should come away with a win.

Last season saw abysmal results from the Red Wings. With few bright spots on the roster, they struggled to win games. This offseason, new general manager Steve Yzerman brought in talent and worked towards building a more competitive roster. The addition of Vladislav Namestnikov and Thomas Greiss should help them compete with some of the more talented teams around the league. While they should still be considered underdogs, this team is better equipped to make games competitive this year.

Prediction: Blue Jackets win 4-2

Boston Bruins vs New York Islanders

Head to Head: Bruins 0-0 Islanders

The Boston Bruins did not start this season as strongly as fans would have hoped. With back to back games against the New Jersey Devils to start the year, many saw Boston starting the season 2-0. Instead, they are 1-0-1. Boston controlled play during much of the first matchup. In round two, the Bruins struggled during the first period and were not very impressive throughout the rest of the game. Their only goal of the game was enough to force overtime and a last-second goal would secure the Devils win. If the Bruins from game one reappear, they stand a chance of winning this game. Call it a win for the New York Islanders if they don’t.

If Boston was night and day in their first two games, the Islanders are a step above them. In two games against the New York Rangers to start the year, the Islanders came away with a shutout in the first matchup. They were on the receiving end of one in the second game. The Islanders pride themselves on a strong defensive game. The loss of Thomas Greiss in the offseason has left them depleted in the net. They surely hope Ilya Sorokin will be the elite netminder they think he can be. If they can get decent goaltending, They should be able to beat a Boston team that has not scored at a high rate yet this year.

Prediction: Islanders win 3-2

Winnipeg Jets vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Head to Head: Jets 0-0 Maple Leafs

Columbus is not the only team with trade distractions. The Winnipeg Jets and Patrik Laine are looking to find a trade as well. As one of their top offensive talents, the Jets are better suited with him on the roster. This team is structured similarly to the Toronto Maple Leafs several years ago. They have top tier offensive talent but lack defensive depth. Winnipeg should be able to keep pace with Toronto’s high powered offence but may struggle to keep pucks out of their own net. They need Connor Hellebuyck to stand on his head if they want to come away with a win in this one.

As many would have expected, the Toronto Maple Leafs have had a rocky start to the season. They have had unforeseen losses early in the season for many years now. This year’s defeat comes at the hands of the Ottawa Senators. They have not gotten the goaltending they need from Frederik Andersen. After a down year last season, they were hoping he could bounce back. While it is early in the season, he has not shown he can continue to be an elite player. The Maple Leafs need their defence to step up if they want to win this season.

Prediction: Maple Leafs win 5-4

Buffalo Sabres vs Philadelphia Flyers

Head to Head: Sabres 0-0 Flyers

This matchup has the potential to be the most lopsided in today’s NHL predictions. The Buffalo Sabres are widely expected to struggle in a highly competitive East Division. Starting the season with four games against the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers won’t make it any easier. This team greatly improved their top-six forward group with the additions of Taylor Hall and Eric Staal. That likely will not be enough considering they will have to play eight games against each divisional opponent. Buffalo could compete with Philly but a win is a long shot.

Two matchups against the Pittsburgh Penguins to start the season would have seemed like a death sentence a few years ago. The Flyers ended that narrative with a pair of wins against their interstate rivals. Philadelphia is turning over a new leaf and looks ready to make a deep playoff run. This team can beat anyone who stands in their way and do it in a convincing fashion. They should be able to handle Buffalo with no problem.

Prediction: Flyers win 5-2

San Jose Sharks vs St. Louis Blues

Head to Head: Sharks 0-0 Blues

Devan Dubnyk and Martin Jones currently make up the San Jose Sharks goalie tandem. They should not expect to win a lot of games with the two of them as starters. Although they both have seen success in their careers, they are not of the same calibre they used to be. The Sharks do not have the supporting cast to win at a high level. While Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns will be instrumental to this team’s success, they lack the forward group necessary to score at a winning rate. They should struggle against the St. Louis Blues.

Blues fans were amazed by their success in the first game of the season. St. Louis won in a convincing fashion with a final score of 4-1. They then proceeded to lose a second game against the cup-favourite Colorado Avalanche 8-0. With a bag of mixed results against good competition, they hope to bounce back against the Sharks. Considering the lack of talent on the San Jose roster, they should be able to come away with a win.

Prediction: Blues win 3-0

That does it for today’s NHL Predictions. Be sure to check back for more tomorrow!

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images


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