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 Tampa Bay Lightning vs Colorado Avalanche.
NHL Predictions with Tampa Bay Lightning vs Colorado Avalanche
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Colorado Avalanche
Heard-to-Head: Lightning 0-1 Avalanche
This very well could be one of the best matchups of the year. Colorado is on a tear winning four of five. The Avalanche comes into this one having a slight edge due to their powerplay. The standouts of this game will be none other than Nazem Kadri who has 60 points in 41 games and Steven Stamkos who has 52 points in 45 games.
One of the keys for Tampa will be to shut down slot chances as that’s where they give up offence and where Colorado excels in the zone. Tampa Bay has one of the best forechecks in the NHL so Colorado’s defence will need movement and support from the forwards. The difference between these two teams has been goaltending. The Lightning have one of the best goalies of all time in Andrei Vasilevskiy whereas the Avalanche have had a less than impressive season from Darcy Kuemper.
Avalanche win 3-2
New Jersey Devils vs St Louis Blues
Heard-to-Head: Devils 0-0 Blues
The Devils have not been good this season. The Blues have. Simple as that. The Devils were on a seven-game losing streak before winning last night against the Montreal Canadiens. Meanwhile, the Blues are striving on special teams, not as much 5v5. The standout player in this game will be Jordan Kyrou who just got back from the All-Star Game. Kyrou comes into this game with an insane stat line of 182 shot attempts.
The Devils have been a mediocre team all year, it’s not for the lack of offence, they’ve gotten no goaltending or defence whatsoever. They get scored on at one of the highest rates in the league. In addition to this, their powerplay has not gotten going all year. St Louis has been blessed with Ville Husso who has had a great year in net. The Blues are good in every category although they aren’t at extremely high rates.
Blues win 3-1
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Calgary Flames
Heard-to-Head: Leafs 1-0 Flames
After a huge win-and-lose game over the Carolina Hurricanes, the Leafs are firing on all cylinders. Mitch Marner is absolutely on fire with eight straight games with goals. The loss in the Carolina game was the scary Auston Matthews incident which would be a huge loss to any team. The Flames have been just as good as the Leafs lately. These are two very similar teams. Both are set apart by their offence, defence, and goaltending.
The one area that stands out is ultimately special teams. The Flames have a good penalty kill and powerplay, the Leafs have better. Both teams absolutely pepper opposing goalies with shots while allowing few against. This will ultimately be a battle of special teams and goaltending. The Leafs will need to pounce on the Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm line if they want to win this game.
Leafs win 5-2