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 St Louis Blues.
NHL Predictions with Edmonton Oilers vs St Louis Blues
Vegas Golden Knights vs Seattle Kraken
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 3 – 0 Kraken
The Golden Knights are desperately holding onto their playoff aspirations. After a blunderous trade deadline that has handcuffed the Knights financially, Vegas now has to make their final push without the services of Alec Martinez and Mark Stone.
Vegas currently sits with a 47% chance of making the playoffs and is likely to miss the dance for the first time in their history. However, a win here will keep the pressure on the rolling, Edmonton Oilers. The Wild Card spots are likely to go to the Central Division, so Vegas’ best hope for making the playoffs will be to leapfrog the Edmonton Oilers for third place in the Pacific Division.
With a win tonight, the Golden Knights can sweep the season series with Seattle and help keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 3-1
Anaheim Ducks vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Ducks 1 – 1 Coyotes
Welp, the Ducks’ wings have been clipped. Anaheim was only four points out of the playoffs at the trade deadline but a 10 game losing streak has the California squad already looking towards next season. General Manager Pat Verbeek felt it was best to offload his UFA’s and try again next season. Unfortunately, a few of those UFA’s were defencemen and the holes/inexperience in their roster on the backend has been evident during this skid.
Anaheim has allowed an astonishing 41 goals against during this 10 game slide. It doesn’t matter how good your offence is, when you surrender over four goals a game, wins won’t be coming easy.
This would be one of the few times where we would take the Coyotes to win. Unfortunately, after the injury to Clayton Keller, we’re not confident there’s another player who can step up and pick up the slack to provide the offence. Arizona has played a little better as of late compared to the first half of the season. But the ‘Yotes are still a team that other teams can look forward to playing to help get themselves out of a funk.
Prediction: Ducks win 5-4
Edmonton Oilers vs St Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Oilers 1 – 1 Blues
We have officially entered the part of the season where games begin to get a playoff atmosphere. Tonight’s game will deliver nothing less than a high-intensity environment.
The season series is split between these two clubs. However, the Edmonton Oilers are a much different team than they were the last time they met back in December. Out is Kyle Turris, Devin Shore, Slater Koekkoek, and Colton Sceviour, and in is Derick Brassard, Evander Kane, Brett Kulak, and Josh Archibald.
These new additions have created a much deeper Oilers roster. The roster has evolved and the players play a more complete, 200-foot game. Edmonton’s recent eight-game home winning streak is evidence of the evolution this roster has taken. And they will look to take this home-ice advantage into this final regular-season meeting with the Blue.
St. Louis will look to counter this Oilers squad with depth of their own. The Blue acquired defenceman Nick Leddy from Detroit at the trade deadline and he has quickly made his presence felt. The former first-round pick has contributed a goal and an assist in his first five games with the Blues. More importantly, Leddy has brought balance to the Blues’ blueline. Leddy slots in at the top pairing and allows Justin Faulk to move to a more appropriate spot on the second pairing.
St. Louis will hope this balanced defensive scheme will suppress the potent Oilers’ offence.
The Blues sit one point up over the Nashville Predators for third in the Central Division. A spot in the top three in their division will go a long way in their future playoff success by avoiding a first-round matchup with the Colorado Avalanche or Calgary Flames.
There’s a lot on the line for these two clubs as they jockey for position heading to the postseason. If you can only pick one game to watch this evening, this is the one!
Predicition: Oilers win 4-3 OT