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 St Louis Blues vs Calgary Flames.
NHL Predictions: January 24th including St Louis Blues vs Calgary Flames
Montreal Canadiens vs Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Wild 0-0 Canadiens
On paper, this game should make for a relatively straightforward prediction. The Wild have been mostly quite good this season, and are 5-3-2 in their last 10. On the other end of the spectrum, the Canadiens are arguably the worst team in the NHL, and their 8-25-7 record is testament to that.
Despite this being relatively straightforward on paper, Montreal hasn’t looked nearly as bad as of late, at least in comparison to the rest of their season. That being said, Minnesota should find this an easy one to win. Montreal stands little chance of slowing down Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello, and Cam Talbot shouldn’t have any difficulty handling one of the most impotent offences in the league.
Prediction: Wild win 4-1
Chicago Blackhawks vs Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 0-2 Avalanche
While this matchup should make for a substantially closer one than the previous, it still makes for an easy pick. Chicago, despite periods of decent play, has found it difficult to fully recover from their atrocious start to the season. As for Colorado, they have more than found their footing, going 9-0-1 in their last 10 and winning six in a row.
Chicago’s subpar defence and shaky goaltending are not going to be able to withstand the best offence in the league. Nathan MacKinnon, as he always does, will have a major impact in this game and Colorado should find it relatively easy to extend their win streak to seven games.
Prediction: Avalanche win 5-2
St Louis Blues vs Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Blues 0-0 Flames
This game is by far the best of the day, even with how poorly the Flames have been as of late. Despite going 3-6-1 in the last 10, Calgary is 18-12-6 on the season and within a reasonable distance of being a serious playoff contender.
A big roleplayer in this game isn’t necessarily an individual player, but rather the fact that the Blues are on the second half of a back-to-back. This makes for a stellar goaltender matchup, with Jordan Binnington and Jacob Markstrom standing guard in between the pipes. While the former has been inconsistent this season, he is still a top goalie, and Markstrom has proven once again that he is a bonafide number one goaltender.
With both of these teams being in the upper half of the special teams, GF/GP, and GA/GP, this is undeniably going to be a tight game. This game will likely be decided by whose supporting cast shows up. If someone Andrew Mangiapane or Ryan O’Reilly can find their scoring touch in this game, that could very well tip the scale in this one.
Prediction: Blues win 3-2
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