NHL Predictions: December 29th Featuring Edmonton Oilers vs St. Louis Blues

Edmonton Oilers vs St Louis Blues
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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 Edmonton Oilers vs St. Louis Blues.

NHL Predictions with Edmonton Oilers vs St. Louis Blues

Philadelphia Flyers vs Seattle Kraken

Head-to-Head: Flyers 1 – 0 Kraken

Despite the protocols in place, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain professional sports. The NHL is no exception. Overall, the league postponed 70 games total thus far, including a full shutdown for additional days over Christmas. For the Flyers, tonight’s matchup against the Seattle Kraken will be their first contest in ten calendar days. The same goes for Seattle, as the two teams collectively saw six games postponed recently. Carter Hart, Scott Laughton, Derick Brassard, Sean Couturier and Ryan Ellis all sit on Philly’s COVID list to boot, as of Tuesday.

The COVID list is less of a concern on Seattle’s end at the moment, but they also just lost Brandon Tanev for the season with an ACL injury. Neither club boasts a great record, but Philadelphia remains a notch above Seattle talent-wise. Whether the absences alter the balance remains to be seen, but it looks as though the Flyers hold a slight edge.

Prediction: Flyers win 4-2

Vancouver Canucks vs Anaheim Ducks

Head-to-Head: Canucks 0 – 2 Ducks

This should be the fourth and final matchup of the season for these teams, but their third duel got postponed as the league shut its doors early for Christmas to mitigate COVID outbreaks league-wide. The Ducks outscored the Canucks in their first two matchups by an 8-3 margin, winning both (though one went to overtime).

Anaheim remains one of the most improved teams in the league this year, sitting at 17-9-6 and having gone 6-1-3 in their last ten games. However, the Canucks enter this one on a six-game winning streak under new head coach Bruce Boudreau. Should Vancouver turn it around, it’s going to take another couple of long winning streaks with very few losing streaks the rest of the way to get back into the playoff chase. Despite the recent success, they still sit fourth-to-last in the west. That being said, the wild card race lies just six points ahead of them. Piling up the wins on this streak could change their trajectory drastically, but the Ducks have proven to already have their number so far this season.

Prediction: Ducks win 6-3

Edmonton Oilers vs St Louis Blues

Head-to-Head: Oilers 1 – 0 Blues

In their only matchup so far this season, the Oilers squeaked out a regulation 5-4 victory with a goal in the last 30 seconds of the contest. The Blues may get Brayden Schenn back from injury and have won in seven of their last eleven games. Edmonton started hot, but since November have been treading water; they’re a break-even 10-10 since November 5th.

A hugely positive note for Edmonton, though, revolves around its goaltending. Mike Smith, who has been out with an ankle injury since October, may be able to play as early as this matchup with the Blues. He practiced with the team Monday, plus they may also get Duncan Keith back in time for the game.

Unfortunately, Darnell Nurse and William Lagesson appear to need more time to get off the COVID list. The Blues celebrated having no new positive cases Monday and hope to carry that momentum forward through not just the coming days, but the coming weeks and months too. Pitting two of the west’s juggernauts against one another, this Edmonton Oilers vs St Louis Blues battle is sure to be a good one.

Prediction: Oilers win 4-3 OT

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