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 Winnipeg Jets.
NHL Predictions: Winnipeg Jets vs Colorado Avalanche
Philadelphia Flyers vs Florida Panthers
Head-to-Head: Flyers 0-0 Panthers
Last season, the Florida Panthers topped the Philadelphia Flyers on all three occasions. That surprised no one, as Florida went on to win the President’s Trophy while Philly sat in the league’s cellar. While they may not be identical teams in 2022-23, their season outlooks don’t appear drastically different. This marks the first of three games the two will play one another this year, too.
Philadelphia enters this contest on the backend of a back-to-back. They traveled a short distance, though, after playing in Tampa Bay yesterday. Despite dismal expectations, they entered yesterday’s game with a 2-0-0 record, outscoring opponents by an 8-4 edge.
Florida started the year strong under new coach Paul Maurice, and newbie Matthew Tkachuk brought a major impact with him too. He and fellow newcomer Colin White lead the team with four points in their first three games, a piece. They look to bounce back following their first loss of the season, putting them at 2-1-0 currently.
Prediction: Panthers win 6-3
St. Louis Blues vs Seattle Kraken
Head-to-Head: Blues 0-0 Kraken
Tonight marks the first of three contests between the Seattle Kraken and St. Louis Blues. In three contests a season ago, St. Louis swept Seattle, holding them to just two combined goals. Meanwhile, the Blues potted 11.
St. Louis also enters tonight’s matchup with rested legs. They last played on Saturday, in a 5-2 victory. The Kraken have four games under their belts already, while the Blues only have that one.
Seattle continues struggling between the pipes, with starter Philipp Grubauer sporting an awful .851% save percentage and a 0-1-1 record to date. They got stronger up front, but that won’t matter much if they can’t figure out how to keep the puck out of their own net.
Prediction: Kraken win 3-2 OT
Winnipeg Jets vs Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Jets 0-0 Avalanche
Similar to the games above, the Winnipeg Jets and Colorado Avalanche meet the same number of times in 2022-23 as they did in 2021-22. For these divisional rivals though, they face off four times instead of three. Last year, the Cup Champion Avalanche team bested Winnipeg three of the four times they played. Winnipeg forced overtime in one of those three losses, though. That said, Colorado outscored them by a whopping 19-12 total.
A back-to-back to begin the season saw two very different games played by the Avs. They looked like the Cup-winning team from a few months ago in a 5-2 route over Chicago on opening night. They traveled to Calgary immediately and lost the next day by a 5-3 score. A bounce-back victory in Minnesota Monday night looks to have righted the ship, though.
The Jets, on the other hand, only played twice to date. They topped a strong Rangers squad by a 4-1 score on opening night. Then Dallas topped Winnipeg by the same score on Monday. Winnipeg needs to pile up wins to keep pace in an ultra-competitive division. They eye a playoff spot this season, just like the majority of the Central. A win over Colorado, though unlikely, would be huge for their locker room.
Prediction: Avalanche win 5-2
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