NHL Predictions: March 22 Including Edmonton Oilers vs Dallas Stars

Edmonton Oilers vs Dallas Stars
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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 Dallas Stars.

NHL Predictions with Edmonton Oilers vs Dallas Stars

Edmonton Oilers vs Dallas Stars

Head-to-Head: Oilers 0-1 Stars

The Edmonton Oilers have been excellent under Jay Woodcroft, with a 12-5-1 record to show for it. Dallas is desperately trying to stay afloat as they vie for a wildcard spot in the Western Conference. On a rough stretch losing four of five, Dallas has struggled to keep the puck out of the net. Not everyone can outscore their defensive inefficiencies as the Oilers can. Luckily for them, Mikko Koskinen has stood on his head losing only two games since the Woodcroft hiring.

The Stars will need to utilize their forechecking style of play as the Oiler’s defencemen tend to crack in their own end, specifically when moving pucks. In the Stars’ defensive zone, they’ll want to limit cross-ice passes and watch the slot as that’s where Edmonton creates offence with their big-bodied guys.  Dallas can take this one if they can exploit the Oiler’s weak defensive play and find Koskinen’s weakness which seems to be to the left of his crease. With games back of the current two wildcard teams, Dallas needs to take advantage of that and collect points consistently. The only thing in their way vs Edmonton is the insane scoring rate.

Oilers win 4-3

Vegas Golden Knights vs Winnipeg Jets

Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0-2 Jets

The Golden Knights may finally be getting out of their slump. After two big wins vs playoff teams and a Jack Eichel injury scare, the Knights look to bounce back vs the Jets after an embarrassing 7-3 loss last week. The battle of two very bad defensive teams. Luckily for each, they’ve gotten pretty good goaltending although inconsistency has been the issue. The Jets are the same in both ends, they allow and get offence primarily among the middle of the ice.

The Knights should take advantage of the Jets’ need to clear the puck out of the zone rather than making a pass to the forwards. If they’re able to put pressure on the Winnipeg defencemen while filling the neutral zone responsibly, this should help generate a quick transition game going the other way. If the Jets can generate the offence, Hellebuyck can keep them in this game. The time for the Jets to really turn it up is now. Matchups will be important in this game as the Golden Knights have some weapons offensively, as do the Jets. Defensive play will decide this game, whoever has the tighter game. With all of the injuries Vegas is dealing with, Winnipeg should power to a win.

Jets win 3-2

San Jose Sharks vs Calgary Flames

Head-to-Head: Sharks 2-0 Flames

The San Jose Sharks seem to be the Calgary Flames’ kryptonite this season winning both games they’ve played. Aside from being pretty bad offensively, defensively, and on the powerplay, the Sharks have managed to have a great penalty kill. Calgary is good in every area of the ice in addition to special teams. San Jose really struggles to create offence. This isn’t surprising when looking at their forward group. It also doesn’t help that they barely shoot the puck. Their top point-getter is Timo Meier 59 points in 57 games.

In Calgary, they’ve gotten a Hart-level season from Johnny Gaudreau and Vezina calibre season from Jacob Markstrom. A sneaky part of the Flames game is their ability to get shots or plays going off of the faceoff. They’re averaging 10 shots off of faceoffs each game. Calgary is a very good forechecking team with almost all their forwards being able to recover dump-ins and provide the forecheck pressure needed. In addition to offence, Calgary’s defensemen are excellent at getting out of their zone effectively with possession. With the roll they’re on, Calgary should have no issues putting away San Jose.

Flames win 4-1

Seattle Kraken vs Arizona Coyotes

Head-to-Head: Kraken 0-2 Coyotes

As these two teams battle it out for the final time this season the Coyotes have been able to have their way in previous games vs the Kraken. Putting up five goals in both games, Seattle will want to tighten up. Seattle has been playing better actually winning six of their last 10. Impressive for a likely draft lottery team. They’ve been able to see the potential of 26-year-old Nick Schmaltz who put up seven points in a single game vs Ottawa. Both these pacific division teams allow a lot of goals against.

Arizona sits at third last in the league with 153 against while Seattle sits fifth from the bottom with 151 against. Not stellar at keeping the puck out of the net are we gentlemen. Seattle is a team that creates off the forecheck while playing high-risk hockey when leaving their own zone. The offence they do create comes from Mark Giordano‘s spot on the blue line. He’s no longer a Kraken so we’ll have to see who takes his spot. If Seattle can maintain their defensive structure with average goaltending, they can get away with a win vs the Coyotes.

Kraken win 2-1

Nashville Predators vs LA Kings

Head-to-Head: Predators 2-0 Kings

Probably one of the most exciting games of the night, both teams are in a very tight Western Conference race while being tied with 76 points. The Kings and Predators have been the two most surprising teams this season. No one expected LA to contend so quickly after a rebuild while the Predators have been sellers and buyers since their 2017 cup final appearance. The NHL is a better place when these two teams are competing. Both teams have received stellar defensive play while having solid goaltending. Nashville has been a bit luckier than LA as they’re among the league’s best finishing-wise, LA not so much.

With average finishing, the Kings would have 37 more goals according to JFresh’s model, surely they’d be quite higher in the standings if they were to have that much more offensive success. Nashville is known for their ability to play a talented physical style of game. With this, they’re second in the league in hits with a whopping 1,781. That’s a lot of bodies being knocked around. Rookie Tanner Jeannot is a visible example of Predators hockey. Both teams play a similar style of game so this should be a fun one.

Predators win 2-0

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