You’re back with the Last Word on Hockey NHL predictions! Our closing matches tonight are all from the Honda West Division. We’ve got two rematches, a surprisingly vulnerable former champion, and the friendliness of neighbours. Today’s feature is the St Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche. Be sure to check out the other two sets of predictions as well.
NHL Predictions: St Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche
Minnesota Wild vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Wild 3 – 2 Golden Knights
The Minnesota Wild have long been “Oh, Yeah, Those Guys” who were popular among fans of competent, steady play. Heck, our own prediction was basically that they look okay and could raise eyebrows in the playoffs. We did catch wind of some of the exciting stuff going on upfront, though. Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov each have five points in their last five games to lead the attack.
Not that the Vegas Golden Knights will be surprised. Their last match was a shootout loss with each side putting up 37 shots. Vegas does have a potent attack, but their surprises lie elsewhere. The rebirth of Marc-Andre Fleury and his .924 save percentage has him solidly in the starter’s seat again, and he’ll be more than ready.
Prediction: Wild win 3-1
San Jose Sharks vs Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Sharks 4 – 1 Kings
With the Blues fading, what was out of the question three months ago is suddenly possible. Believe it or not, one of the California teams could make the playoffs. Both the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings are rebuilding teams, with the Kings squeezing just a bit more out of their veterans. The Sharks have been let down by the in-net tandem of Devan Dubnyk and Martin Jones, where the Kings would do well to hand the reins completely over to Calvin Petersen.
In their game before Friday night’s match, LA outshot the Sharks 44-28. The time before that, it was 42-23 Kings. Last night was a far better showing for San Jose, but LA knows how to turn it on against their state rivals. Whether they can turn those shots into goals is another matter.
Prediction: Kings win 4-1
St. Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Blues 1 – 2 Avalanche
The St Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche is the featured game of the night and this is the second of back-to-back games. Before yesterday’s game, the Avalanche had scored 25 goals in their last five games. St. Louis had scored nine – getting five in one game. Of all the teams for the stumbling Blues to face, Colorado has to be the worst choice. Though to be fair that would be true of nearly any team in the league. The Avs have four players at point-per-game or higher scoring, and one of those is their second-highest scoring defenceman.
Still, they aren’t invincible, especially when they rest starter Philipp Grubauer. Hunter Miska hasn’t been able to find his footing this year, and Jonas Johansson isn’t the answer despite Friday’s win. Ideally, the team will get Pavel Francouz before the playoffs roll around, but they want to keep Grubauer from burning out until then.
St. Louis is feeling the pressure now, duking it out with the Arizona Coyotes for that final playoff position. The Blues have lost a lot of depth to long-term injury this season, and it’s showed. Their top scorers are still rolling, but the team desperately needs suddenly ice-cold Mike Hoffman, Jordan Kyrou, and Brayden Schenn to get their scoring touchback. Hoffman and Schenn managed a point each last night, but they’ll need more to keep pace with the Avs.
Prediction: Avalanche win 6-2.
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