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 Carolina Hurricanes vs Columbus Blue Jackets.
NHL Predictions: January 1st Including Carolina Hurricanes vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Buffalo Sabres vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Sabres 0-2 Bruins
This game, at least on paper, should be the easiest one to predict on the day. These two teams have met twice already this season, with Boston outscoring Buffalo 9-2.
It is hard to see this game really going any other way than the previous two meetings.
Prediction: Boston wins 4-1
Montreal Canadiens vs Florida Panthers
Head-to-Head: Canadiens 0-0 Panthers
This one, much like the prior matchup, should be a straightforward prediction. Florida has almost as many wins in their last 10 games (6-3-1) than Montreal has all season long (7-22-4).
Prediction: Florida wins 5-2
Edmonton Oilers vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Oilers 0-0 Islanders
This game could prove to be a bit of a “circuit breaker” for whomever wins. Both Edmonton (2-7-1) and the Islanders (4-2-4) have not been good as of late. The main difference is that the former is still in a playoff spot and the latter is firmly outside the playoff picture.
Prediction: Edmonton wins 4-2
Chicago Blackhawks vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 1-1 Predators
These teams have met twice already this season, with each team pulling off a win respectively. Since having a historically bad start to the season, Chicago has pulled themselves back into respectability with a 11-15-4 record, going 4-4-2 in the last 10 games.
Nashville is very much the opposite. They have been consistently solid this season, and there is every reason to believe this will continue in this game. If Juuse Saros can get some goal support, the Predators should pull this one off.
Prediction: Nashville wins 3-2
Carolina Hurricanes vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 1-0 Blue Jackets
This game is comprised of one team performing at expectations and the other performing well above them. Carolina, as expected, is one of the best teams in the league this season, and this is almost certainly going to continue for the rest of the year. Columbus, on the other hand, was projected by many to be atrocious this season, and that obviously is not the case to this point.
For Columbus, they are getting goal scoring by committee, with Boone Jenner returning to his scoring ways of 2015-16, scoring 12 goals in 29 games this season. Behind him is Alexandre Texier at 10 goals and Oliver Bjorkstrand at nine respectively.
As for the Hurricanes, they have gotten stellar play across the board. They are getting Vezina-level play from goaltender Frederik Andersen and continued top-notch point production from the likes of Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and Teuvo Teravainen.
While Columbus will certainly stick in this one, it is going to be tough for them to pull off anything more than a single point.
Prediction: Carolina wins 3-2