Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, Last Word on Hockey takes a look at the games that are happening and gives our predictions for each one. Breaking down head-to-head and other factors that may play in. We also have a featured game of the day which is considered must-watch TV. Today’s featured game is the Vegas Golden Knights vs Toronto Maple Leafs.
NHL Predictions with Vegas Golden Knights vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Arizona Coyotes vs Philadelphia Flyers
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0 – 0 Flyers
If you want to tune in and continue to witness history in the making, this is your game! The Coyotes are on pace to have the worst regular-season record in the history of the NHL. Yes, it’s only nine games in, but the ‘Yotes remain winless and have some of the worst categorical statistics to go with it. Arizona is last in the league in goals for, goals against, power play, and penalty kill. And those stats aren’t even close to contending with other teams. The power play is an abysmal 8 percent and the PK is an atrocious 58 percent
Arizona continues a brutal road trip through the south-east united states, and after being feasted on by the likes of the Panthers, Lightning, Capitals, and Hurricanes, they now face a Flyers team that is looking for redemption after an embarrassing 4-0 shutout loss to the Flames. This does not bold well for Arizona. The only thing going for the Coyotes is the Flyers are coming back from a road trip and the teams returning home after a road trip morally struggles.
Prediction: Philadelphia wins 5-1
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Wings 0 – 1 Canadiens
The Canadiens are a shell of the team that marched to the Stanley Cup Final last season. 10 games in and they have only mustered two wins. However, of those two wins, one came against this very Red Wings team. A 6-1 dismantling at that! The Canadiens will hope to find the back of the net at the same rate they did the last time these teams squared off.
Detroit has been a fun team to watch this year. Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi are doing what they do, but rookies Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond are off to blistering starts in their NHL careers. However, Detroit has struggled mightily to keep the puck out of their own net. The Red Wings rank 2nd last in goals allowed with 3.44GA/GP but have countered that with 3.22GF/GP. If the Wings can figure out how to keep opponents from scoring at will against them, they could easily be sporting a record above .500
Montreal has struggled to score this year, having only scored two goals or more in a game twice this year. Normally I’d go with Detroit in this one but Montreal is back at the Bell Centre and they get a matchup against a Wings team that will be playing their 6th game in 11 nights. I like the Canadiens in this one.
Prediction: Montreal wins 4-3 in Overtime
Ottawa Senators vs Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Senators 0 – 0 Wild
The Wild opened the season with four straight wins, but have followed that up with one win in their last four. Lack of consistency from the Minnesota offence has cooled this Wild team down. Forwards Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Kevin Fiala have mustered just two points combined in their last five games. This top-line will need to get it going if they want to turn things around.
The Ottawa Senators are off to a 3-5 record to start the season. Their power play has been red hot and they are getting great production from Batherson, who has four goals and seven points in the last five games.
This game will be decided by who can stay out of the penalty box. A cliche, I know, but when both teams have penalty kills that are operating at 75 percent, that stands true. Coming off a back-to-back on the road, I’m giving the edge to the Wild on this one.
Prediction: Minnesota wins 3-2 in Overtime
Dallas Stars vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Stars 0 – 0 Jets
Dallas really hasn’t found their stride yet this season. They sport a 3-4-1 record but have yet to win in regulation. With a mostly healthy lineup to start the year, people figured this offence would be clicking but that hasn’t been the case. Jamie Benn has yet to find the back of the net and Seguin has only two tallies on the year. Jason Robertson came back from injury two games ago and hopefully, for the Stars, he will bring a much-needed offensive boost.
The Winnipeg Jets have one of the hottest players in the NHL right now in Kyle Connor. He has 4-goals and 6-assists in his last five games. Pierre-Luc Dubois has also had a great start to the year. Dubois has 6-goals on 15 shots. It’s unlikely he keeps his shooting percentage up that high all year but hey, while the stick is hot, let those pucks fly!
Connor Hellebuyck had a terrible start to the year, allowing 14 goals in his first three starts, but has settled in nicely with 12GA in his last 5-games. On the other end, Holtby has been lights out this year – aside from a hiccup against the Senators in his last start. I think Holtby keeps the Stars in this but doesn’t get the goal support to come away with the win. Winnipeg takes this one at home.
Prediction: Winnipeg wins 4-2
Vegas Golden Knights vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0 – 0 Maple Leafs
The Golden Knights are riding a three-game win streak into Scotiabank Arena. And now Vegas gets to open up their four-game road trip against a Leafs team that is struggling to find their way this season. The Knights record is not where many thought it’d be eight games into the season. But injuries to Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Nolan Patrick, have really hurt the offence. Chandler Stephenson has stepped up in the absence of his teammates, boasting two goals and six points.
The Maple Leafs have had a slow start to this season but are coming off back-to-back wins against the Hawks and Red Wings. Yes, that’s nothing to write home about but it could be just the confidence booster this team needs. They start a crucial four-game homestand where they will face much stiffer competition in Vegas, Tampa Bay, and Boston. Are the Leafs forwards ready for the task?
John Tavares enters this game leading the Toronto offence. He’s picked it up as of late and has posted two goals and two assists in his last two games. Tavares is trying to pull his young stars along and get them going but they will surely be in tough against Vegas’ Robin Lehner. Lehner has been a little streaky to start the year but everyone knows what he’s capable of. Lehner looks to be getting into a groove and if that’s the case, it won’t matter how many stars you throw at him, he’s going to shut the door on you. This game has all the makings to be an exciting one. Will this be the breakout game for Matthews and Marner? Leafs fans sure hope it starts tonight!
Prediction: Vegas wins 3-1
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