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 Colorado Avalanche vs Vegas Golden Knights.
NHL Predictions: February 26th including Colorado Avalanche vs Vegas Golden Knights
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Leafs 2-0 Red Wings
For the first matchup of the day, two Atlantic Division rivals face off in what could be a high-scoring affair. The last two teams these teams have met, they have combined for a total of 20 goals, with Toronto winning the battle of who can score last, with a 5-4 win back in October and a 7-4 win on January 29th.
While both teams haven’t been overly great as of late, they are both still playing respectable hockey. Relative to expectations, however, the Red Wings are on the upswing, and that could push them ahead of the Leafs in this one. Expect to see another barn burner in this one, with Detroit finding the third time to be the charm.
Prediction: Red Wings win 4-3
Minnesota Wild vs Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Wild 0-0 Flames
Despite the fact that this is not the featured game of the day, it might very well be the most exciting. Both of these teams have been largely very good this season, and the Flames are on fire, going 9-1-0 in their last 10 games.
It would be entirely unsurprising to see the usual suspects on the score sheet for their respective teams. Kirill Kaprizov will make for a tough matchup, and he will undoubtedly find himself with a point or two in this game. For the Flames, expect Elias Lindholm and Johnny Gaudreau to put the biscuit in the basket.
This is a tight one, but look for the Flames to continue their hot streak.
Prediction: Flames win 5-3
Boston Bruins vs San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Bruins 1-0 Sharks
This one should make for the easiest pick of the bunch. San Jose hasn’t been terrible this season, but they have regressed to what was expected of them recently, going 2-4-4 in their last 10 games. As for the Bruins, they have been riding David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall as of late, both of who have been playing quite well.
It is hard to really break this down any further than the fact that San Jose is not great offensively and the Bruins are a top-10 defense in the NHL. Expect that to be a large factor in this one.
Prediction: Bruins win 4-1
New York Islanders vs Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Islanders 0-1 Kings
In their second and final meeting of the season, the Islanders take on the Los Angeles Kings. Prior to the season, many would have expected the Islanders would have been the clear favorite in this one, but that is most certainly not the case this season.
Don’t expect this to be a high-scoring game, as both teams are in the bottom half of the league and neither are averaging over three goals per game. On top of that, Los Angeles is a top 10 defense in the NHL. With Jonathan Quick getting the start last night, expect Calvin Petersen to mind the net and to perform as admirably as he usually does.
Prediction: Kings win 4-2
Colorado Avalanche vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 1-1 Golden Knights
For the featured matchup of the day, we have the Colorado Avalanche vs Vegas Golden Knights. Both of these teams are in the latter half of a back-to-back, albeit with very different results in the front half. The Avalanche came back to pull off a 6-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets. As for the Golden Knights, despite being the heavy favorite, they fell flat in a 3-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes.
This would normally be a very tough game to predict, but with how each team has been playing as of late, it becomes slightly more straightforward. Vegas is struggling recently, going 4-4-2 in their last 10 and Colorado has continued to run over the top of their competition, going 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, bringing them to 38-10-4 on the season.
Expect to see Mikko Rantanen, Cale Makar, and Gabriel Landeskog to continue their respectively fantastic seasons.
Prediction: Avalanche win 4-2