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 Boston Bruins. Be sure to check out our early predictions, as well.
NHL Predictions With Vancouver Canucks vs Boston Bruins
Vancouver Canucks vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Canucks 0 – 0 Bruins
The Canucks are struggling with losses in four of their last five and have given up four in three of those defeats. Vancouver is at or near the bottom of all statistical categories like goals for and against, power play and penalty kill. Quinn Hughes is one of the few bright spots on the blue line with 13 assists and 15 points. Thatcher Demko has struggled in net with a 3.07 goals-against-average and .904 save percentage.
Boston has won three of its last five but lost 5-2 to the New York Rangers on Black Friday. The Bruins have scored five goals in each of those victories, so they will look to get the offence going. Brad Marchand is the leader in goals and assists with eight tallies for 22 points. Jeremy Swayman has settled into the No. 1 spot in net but will want to rebound after the loss to the Blueshirts.
The Canucks are 3-1 in the last four versus Boston, but it’s been a struggle. Boston might be worth a play for the over of 5.5, but check your odds before you wager.
Prediction: Bruins win 5-2.
San Jose Sharks vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Sharks 0-0 Blackhawks
It’s the first of three meetings between two teams that were solid in the 2010s. San Jose has lost three of its last five and scored one goal or less in those losses. James Reimer was chased in a 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs but has had a solid season so far. Timo Meier is one of the leading point-getters with seven goals and 18 points.
Chicago has won three of its last five, including a 3-2 overtime rally against the St. Louis Blues. Seth Jones leads in assists with 15 while Alex DeBrincat has 12, including the OT winner the other night. The Blackhawks defence has allowed two goals or less in those wins.
San Jose has been a bit shaky times while Chicago has been better as of late.
Prediction: Chicago wins 3-2 in overtime.
Philadelphia Flyers vs New Jersey Devils
Head-to-Head: Flyers 0-0 Devils
Both teams are floundering, but the Flyers have lost five straight games. Philadelphia has yielded four goals in three of those losses and Alain Vigneault‘s job might be on the line. Carter Hart has been better as of late, but the team is 28th in goals allowed. Claude Giroux has seven goals and 17 points for the Flyers.
New Jersey has lost two straight and has only scored twice in each of those games. The Devils are in the bottom 10 of power play and penalty kill effectiveness. Pavel Zach and Jesper Bratt have been good despite the team’s recent troubles.
Someone has to win this game and we’ll go with the Flyers, who are desperate to stay with the pack in the Metropolitan Division.
Prediction: Flyers win 4-2.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Leafs 0-0 Ducks
Toronto’s California adventure has been fairly solid with wins over the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks. They can complete the Cali hat trick with a win over the Ducks. John Tavares and Mitch Marner‘s recent hot play has the Leafs tied for the top spot in the East with three other teams. Jack Campbell continues to put up solid numbers in net with a .943 save percentage and 1.68 GAA. Toronto is also top 10 in both penalty killing and on the power play.
Anaheim snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-0 shutout over the Ottawa Senators by Anthony Stolarz. Head coach Dallas Eakins could ride the hot hand, but he may go with starter John Gibson. Ryan Getzlaf may only have one goal this season, but he’s got 18 assists so far. Troy Terry is among the league leaders in goals with 13.
This will be tough to gauge and whoever establishes their style of play will win. The Leafs do just enough to get by.
Prediction: Maple Leafs win 4-3.