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 Vancouver Canucks vs Colorado Avalanche. Be sure to check out our other two predictions articles.
NHL Predictions with Vancouver Canucks vs Colorado Avalanche
Vancouver Canucks vs Colorado Avalanche
Head-t0-Head: Canucks 0-0 Avalanche
It’s the first two meetings in a week between the two teams. Colorado has been somewhat disappointing this season after being named one of the main Stanley Cup contenders. However, goals have been hard to come by as the Avalanche are 27th in goals for coming into Wednesday’s games. The power play comes in second-to-last at 31st with a 10.5-percent success rate. Colorado is now without their captain Nathan MacKinnon for the next three weeks. J.T. Compher is the unlikely goal-scoring leader with five this season. Darcy Kuemper has somewhat struggled with a .908 save percentage this season.
The Canucks have alternated wins and losses in their last six games, including a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks in the last outing. J.T. Miller leads the team in goals with six while Quinn Hughes is tops in assists with 10. Thatcher Demko likely starts for Vancouver and has a .918 save percentage. One thing to look for is the Canucks’ penalty kill is 31st in the league at 65-percent, so the Avalanche extra-man unit could get healthy.
If Colorado can get a couple of goals early, the over of 5.5 might be a smart play. The Avs can get back to .500 with a win and they’ll do so.
Prediction: Avalanche wins 4-2.
Minnesota Wild vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Wild 0-0 Golden Knights
The Wild will be playing the second of a back-to-back set after taking on the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night. Cam Talbot likely draws the start against the tougher opposition. Minnesota had won three straight going into Wednesday’s game against Arizona. Ryan Hartman has had a surprising start to the season for the Wild, who have five goals in each of their three straight wins.
Vegas is hurting but is coming off a 4-2 win over the Seattle Kraken. The Golden Knights have won three of its last four and scored at least four goals in those wins. Jonathan Marchessault and Chandler Stephenson have had to step up while Mark Stone and others are injured. Robin Lehner carries a .919 save percentage and 2.72 goals against average.
Back-to-backs are tough and Vegas is starting to get back into the swing of things. The Knights should defend home turf and check your overs if you do wager because both teams can score.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 4-3.
Anaheim Ducks vs Seattle Kraken
Head-to-Head: Ducks 0-0 Kraken
It’s the first encounter ever between the Pacific Division rivals. Anaheim is coming in red-hot with five straight wins and the defence hasn’t given more than two goals in any of those victories. Troy Terry and Ryan Getzlaf have formed some great chemistry as Terry has nine goals and Getzlaf has 11 assists. John Gibson has six wins and a .927 save percentage, as he’s had a bounce-back season. However, the Ducks are dealing with longtime general manager Bryan Murray resigning.
The Kraken have lost four of their last five and have struggled mightily on the power play with a 9.5-percent conversion rate. Jordan Eberle leads the expansion side with seven goals while Alexander Wennberg is the top assist man with seven. Philipp Grubauer has a save percentage of .886 and 2.97 goals-against-average in a subpar first season with Seattle.
The Ducks could be distracted by the GM issues, but they’ve been fairly tough to stop in recent games. Ride the hot hand and go with Anaheim.
Prediction: Ducks win 3-1.