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 St Louis Blues.
NHL Predictions with Vegas Golden Knights vs St Louis Blues
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Buffalo Sabres
Head-to-Head: Blue Jackets 0-0 Sabres
The Columbus Blue Jackets are having a respectable first season under new head coach Brad Larsen. They are 9-6-0 after their 3-2 loss to Vegas, a loss in which they could have easily come away with two points. The Jackets are doing all of this without key forward Patrik Laine, who has been out for some time now with an upper-body injury. Despite that, they aren’t having any issues scoring goals, averaging 3.20 per game, sitting 11th in the NHL respectively.
On the other end of the ice, the Buffalo Sabres are off to a better start than they had in 2020-21, but are still looking to be league bottom feeders in the standings. At 3-6-1, they have found it difficult to make any sort of significant impact, floating mid-standings in nearly every statistical category. This includes allowing 3.06 goals per game (20th), scoring 2.75 per game (18th), and sitting 18th and 19th respectively for powerplay and penalty kill.
When you take all this into account, and the above-average play of the Columbus netminders this season, all signs point to a Blue Jackets victory.
Prediction: Columbus wins 3-2.
Anaheim Ducks vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Ducks 0-0 Predators
The Ducks and Predators have much of the same storylines going on this season. With netminders playing well, players performing well above expectations, and offensive play to boot, it has been a great start for both organizations.
For Nashville, they are finally seeing some significant offensive output from players like Matt Duchene (12-7-19) and Mikael Granlund (3-15-18), both in 17 games respectively. This is not to overlook the play of Roman Josi (6-11-17) and others like Juuse Saros, who has posted a 7-6-1 record on the back of a .919 save percentage and a 2.46 goals-against-average.
From Anaheim, there is plenty to be surprised by on the offensive side of the ice. Anaheim was widely viewed as one of the worst offensive teams in the NHL the past few seasons, and 2021-22 was not seen to be an exception to that. Players like Troy Terry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Adam Henrique have them pumping out 3.39 goals per game, good for seventh in the NHL.
This is going to be an exciting matchup, but at the end of the night, someone has to win.
Prediction: Anaheim wins 4-3.
Vegas Golden Knights vs St Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0-1 Blues
For the night’s featured matchup, it’s the Vegas Golden Knights vs St Louis Blues. This is the second time these two teams have met this season, with the Blues winning 3-1 on the back of a 42-save win from Jordan Binnington.
Despite that win and the continued strong play of Binnington, St Louis is only 3-5-2 in their last 10. The Blues are on a downward slide at the moment, losing five of their last six games. So, needless to say, this is going to be a big game for them to stop the bleeding. If Binnington can post another performance like the last time they met, this should be a heck of a game.
As for Vegas, they are coming off a comeback 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets, making them 7-3-0 on the season. Despite the departure of multiple big names from their successful 2020-21 season, they are doing what needs to be done to get wins, primarily on the offensive side of the ice. Vegas has found it difficult to keep their opponents from not scoring, allowing 3.00 goals per game. With that in mind, they are going to need to pepper Binnington if they hope to win.
Prediction: St. Louis wins 4-2