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 Seattle Kraken vs Vegas Golden Knights.
NHL Predictions With Seattle Kraken vs Vegas Golden Knights
St. Louis Blues vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Blues 0 – 0 Jets
The St. Louis Blues started out the new 2021-22 season-like gangbusters with a 6-1 record including five straight wins to begin the new campaign. Since then, they have gone a more cooled-off 1-1-1. This will be the first meeting of the two Central Division foes this season. The Blues are led in scoring by David Perron with six goals and five assists. Not to be outdone, Vladimir Tarasenko also has four goals and seven assists to keep pace with Perron. Then, the remaining forward with double-digit scoring is Jordan Kyrou with two goals and eight assists. Jordan Binnington is holding down the net with a 5-2-1 record along with a .928 save percentage and a 2.54 goals-against-average.
The Winnipeg Jets are enjoying a seven-game homestand where they have gone 2-1 thus far. They are 6-3-2 so far this season and they’ve done that without the services of their captain Blake Wheeler who missed five games due to a concussion-like injury. Then, Mark Scheifele has also missed six games due to COVID protocol issues. That left the scoring up to Kyle Connor who as always, has responded. Connor has eight goals and eight assists showing he is the go-to guy on offence. While the Jets are ranked ninth in offence with 3.27 goals per game, they only come in at 20th on defence allowing 2.91 goals a game.
Winnipeg will again be without Scheifele, but Wheeler is back. That still makes for a tough matchup for them and the Blues will prevail here. They are coming off of a disappointing loss to the Anaheim Ducks and will make up for it here.
Prediction: Blues prevail 4-2
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Penguins 1 – 0 Blackhawks
The Pittsburgh Penguins are in an unfamiliar place… last place in the Metropolitan Division. They are decimated with injuries including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Bryan Rust. They are just 1-3-1 in their last five games. As they struggle without key players, perhaps they can take advantage of another team struggling even more as they coast into the Windy City. They had better figure it out soon as they will be playing on the road for 12 of their next 16 games. Don’t you love those schedule makers?
The Chicago Blackhawks are trying to recover from a very challenging beginning to the 2021-22 season. Their general manager resigned in disgrace, and the team recently let Jeremy Colliton go from behind the bench. With all these distractions, the games must still be played. The team has a poor 2-9-2 record and the only way is up. Yet, playing a tough team like the Penguins even without their star players may be too much to handle. The Blackhawks are a mess.
Prediction: Pens win 4-1
San Jose Sharks vs Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Sharks 0 – 0 Flames
The San Jose Sharks have done pretty well to start the new season with a 6-4-1 record. They will need to reach back for more energy as this contest will be the first of a five-game road trip against tough Central Division teams. After this game, they face Winnipeg, Colorado, Minnesota, and St. Louis. Good luck boys. The Shark attack has been led by familiar faces with Timo Meier showing five goals and 11 points in just eight games. Then, Logan Couture has 10 points with four goals, followed by Brent Burns with 10 points and one tally. The Sharks may get a bit well done playing the high-flying Flames.
Calgary Flames have an excellent 7-1-3 record and have been playing some outstanding hockey. After losing their first two games, they won six straight. In their last contest, they humiliated the New York Rangers 6-0 with the rejuvenated Johnny Gaudreau securing two goals and an assist. They trail the Pacific Division-leading Edmonton Oilers by just one point. The top three scorers for the Flames will be tough to stop. Elias Lindholm has an amazing seven goals, seven assists. Gaudreau has four goals, 10 assists and Matthew Tkachuk has secured six goals, five assists as well. Trying to stop the Flames will be one hot mess.
Prediction: Flames grill the Sharks 5-1
Anaheim Ducks vs Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Ducks 0 – 0 Canucks
The Anaheim Ducks have won four straight, and are a surprise thus far. They are coming off of a very impressive 4-1 win over the Blues. This is a young team who could make some waves in the Pacific this season. Young Troy Terry has eight goals already which surpasses his entire 48 games last season when he collected seven goals. This team seems hungry to make the playoffs and if they continue as they have started, that could happen. With John Gibson shining in net carrying a 5-2-2 record and a 2.40 goals-against average .923 save percentage, anything can happen.
The Vancouver Canucks are a tough team to figure out. They seem very inconsistent even with loads of talent. They added Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland to their arsenal and still only show a 5-6-1 record while just winning two of six lately. The Canucks are going up against a hot team in the Ducks and will need to play much better to get two points out of this one. While Vancouver fans may need to be more optimistic, the team needs to play up to its capabilities. It’s still early, but the Canucks need to snap out of it.
Prediction: Ducks continue to roll, winning 3-2 in OT
Seattle Kraken vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Kraken 0 – 1 Golden Knights
The Seattle Kraken may not live up to the level of play that the Golden Knights did in their initial campaign, but they are a decent team nonetheless. They blew their last game against the hapless Arizona Coyotes as they lost 5-4 in an exciting comeback victory for Arizona. Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz are leading the way for the offence, and that’s not surprising. Eberle is tied with Brandon Tanev for the team lead in goals with six. In net, Philipp Grubauer has not impressed with just a 4-5-1 record. His save percentage of just .886 and a goals-against average of only 2.97 may hinder this team’s hopes. Hey, they’re an expansion team, right?
The Vegas Golden Knights have had some serious injury setbacks to slow them down this 2021-22 season. With key players Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, and now William Karlsson all down, it’s time for others to step up. And, Chandler Stephenson is doing just that. He’s registered five goals and seven assists to lead the wounded Vegas group. Still, with all their injuries they are .500 with a 6-6 record. After the Kraken’s disappointing loss, they may feel inspired. Doesn’t matter, Vegas comes up sevens in this one.
Prediction: Vegas wins 5-3