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 Colorado Avalanche vs Seattle Kraken.
NHL Predictions with Colorado Avalanche vs Seattle Kraken
Colorado Avalanche vs Seattle Kraken
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 0 – 0 Kraken
The Colorado Avalanche will play at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle for the first time ever. They come in on a three-game winning streak – their longest of this young season. Surprisingly, the streak began after they announced that star forward Nathan MacKinnon would miss about three weeks with a lower-body injury. With their number-one centre on the shelf, the rest of the team has picked up the slack. They’ve scored 17 goals in their last three wins. At the forefront of their recent success is both Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen. Kadri enters tonight’s tilt with back-to-back three-point games and has an incredible 13 points in his last seven. Rantanen, who shifted to centre in MacKinnon’s absence, has six points in his last three games. Darcy Kuemper, who is expected to guard the Avs cage tonight, has been exceptional as of late as well. He has a .942 save percentage over this last five starts.
No stranger to the Avalanche goal is starting netminder for the Seattle Kraken, Philipp Grubauer. Grubauer has personified the Kraken’s season-to-date – extremely lacklustre. He’s seen a lot of high-danger scoring chances and unfortunately has let most of them in. Grubauer will get a chance to help end the Kraken’s five-game losing skid and stick it to his old team in the process. Of course, he’d like to prove to them that they should have paid him. In order to do that though, he’s going to need some support up-front. That should come from either Jordan Eberle or Jared McCann. Eberle has nine points in his last seven games and McCann has three goals in his last three.
The Kraken are still searching for their identity and the Avalanche seem to have found it. Expect the Avs to pepper the Kraken net and leave Seattle with two points.
Prediction: Avalanche win 4-1
Winnipeg Jets vs Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Jets 0 – 0 Canucks
Different game, similar script. The Jets enter tonight’s action with some positive outcomes over their last handful of games. They find themselves in the top third of the Central standings thanks to solid play from their top-six and especially Connor Hellebuyck, who has been outstanding as of late. Tonight though, we’ll likely see Eric Comrie take the net. Comrie has been very good for the Jets when called upon so far this season. He has a 3-1 record with a 1.98 GAA and a .926 save percentage. He may see a lot of rubber in this one as the team in front of him was chasing around Connor McDavid last night.
The situation in Vancouver is ugly right now. They need wins and they need them fast. The offseason was supposedly a successful one, bringing in pieces at forward, defence and in goal to bolster their squad and get back to the level of play they had two seasons ago. But is hasn’t happened for them, at least not yet. The Canucks have struggled to gel despite great individual seasons thus far from J.T. Miller, Quinn Hughes and newcomer Conor Garland. One player not mentioned in that group is Elias Pettersson, who only has nine points in 17 games this season. His three goals are simply not good enough. Pettersson will need to contribute if the Canucks are going to upset the Jets and keep the angry mob away for the time being.
The Jets and Canucks rank 31st and 32nd respectively on the penalty kill this season. Expect a high-scoring affair in this one.
Prediction: Canucks win 5-4 in overtime.
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