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 the New York Rangers.
NHL Predictions: Colorado Avalanche vs New York Rangers
Arizona Coyotes vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0 – 0 Blue Jackets
The lowly Arizona Coyotes take on the Blue Jackets on the road. Arizona has dropped two straight, while the Blue Jackets won big on Broadway 5-1. Arizona is just as bad as their schedule. They have the worst possession numbers, expected goals percentage, and a low goals-for percentage. The only bright spot is their power play (seventh). Not only do they not score, but they also allow the fourth most goals. One of the only teams worse is the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The biggest thing going for the Blue Jackets in this matchup is their higher-end talent. Prized signing Johnny Gaudreau is leading the way for Columbus and rookie sensation Kent Johnson has been a treat. This is the thing that will give them the edge in this game.
Prediction: Blue Jackets defeat Coyotes 4-2.
Dallas Stars vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Stars 0 – 0 Bruins
Two of the top teams in the NHL standings will go head-to-head Tuesday night. The Boston Bruins sit first in the Atlantic Division, while the Dallas Stars are first in the Central Division. New coaches Pete DeBoer and Jim Montgomery have led their teams to hot starts to begin the year.
This game is highlighted with forward talent. The Dallas attack is led by the top line of Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Joe Pavelski (all have seven points) while getting contributions throughout the lineup. Boston is the same way; it is spearheaded by David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci. And like Dallas, the goals are coming from everyone. A key factor will be the Bruins’ offence against the Dallas defence. The Bruins rank third in goals per game (4.33) and lead the league in goals (26). Dallas ranks first in goals against per game (1.60).
The most significant storyline is the goaltending. As Scott Wedgewood got the start in Ottawa, Jake Oettinger will get the nod and will go up against Linus Ullmark on the second night of a back-to-back. Oettinger picked up where he left off in the playoffs with his stellar play (6.2 goals saved above expected, 1.25 goals against average, .959 save percentage). This will be the Bruins’ most challenging test in the net, but they take advantage of a Dallas team coming off a game the night prior.
Prediction: Bruins defeat Stars 4-3.
Minnesota Wild v Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Wild 0 – 0 Canadiens
This NHL Predictions game is an electric one. This should be a good matchup on tap. Both teams have been surprising but in different ways. The Montreal Canadiens are 3-3-0 while the Minnesota Wild are 1-3-1. The most exciting part of this matchup is the talent on display. The Wild boast talented wingers in Kirill Kaprizov and Matt Boldy, while Montreal has Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki.
Things have not gone the way Minnesota had wanted. They’ve allowed the second most goals in all situations (27), and they have the worst team save percentage in the league (.847). While the team ranks seventh in goals per game played, they’ve allowed just as many. It is a recipe for disaster. The key for them is their power play which ranks second in the league. Montreal’s 11th-ranked penalty kill will need to be at its best in this aspect of the game.
The possession numbers at even strength are equal; it just comes down to goaltending and defending. Minnesota is underperforming and is better than they are playing. But a young Montreal team is thriving under their new coach. Montreal has received better goaltending, which will determine the score and lead to a win.
Prediction: Canadiens defeat Wild 3-2.
New Jersey Devils vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Devils 0 – 1 Red Wings
These NHL Predictions feature the second of three meetings between these two clubs comes in the same month. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-2 and spoiled their home opener. Since then it has been different for the Devils and Detroit. Entering play tonight, Detroit remains one of the only teams without a regulation loss. The Devils are riding a hot streak as they won three straight after suffering the defeat to these same Red Wings. It will be a bounce-back game for Vitek Vanecek, who surrendered five goals in the last meeting.
New Jersey has dominated every team they’ve played against in the win streak. They have the best Corsi for percentage, expected goals for percentage, SCF%, and HDCF%. They’ve surrendered the least amount of shots on goal while doing all of this at even strength. This level of dominance is why the Devils secure the victory and avenge their loss.
Prediction: Devils defeat Red Wings 4-2.
Colorado Avalanche at New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 0 – 0 Rangers
Broadway will be shining brightly in this game. The featured game in the NHL Predictions is between the New York Rangers and the Colorado Avalanche. New York is coming off a 5-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado is coming off a victory against the Vegas Golden Knights. It’ll be a game featuring superstar talent in all aspects of the game, making this a treat for fans. There are star centres in Mika Zibanejad and Nathan MacKinnon, wingers in Mikko Rantanen and Artemi Panarin, and Norris calibre defencemen Adam Fox and Cale Makar. This game also features a goaltending matchup in one fellow partner in the crease; Igor Shesterkin and Alexander Georgiev.
Some of the top leaders in the stats department are in this game. Panarin leads the league in points (12), while Valeri Nichushkin is right behind him (11). Panarin leads the league in assists while Nichushkin is second in goals. Both MacKinnon and Rantanen have nine points, while Zibanejad has eight. The top talent on each team is paving the way for their teams and will be a factor in this game.
This game is full of offensive power. The high-flying Avalanche average the right best goals per game (3.67), while the Rangers are not far behind (3.33). But the most significant impact will be made on special teams. Colorado enters this matchup with the league’s best power play (a whopping 52.9% success rate). The Rangers’ penalty kill will need to be at its best, and keeping the game at even strength will be necessary. The Rangers have the edge in goaltending, which will help secure the victory.
Prediction: Rangers defeat Avalanche 3-2.
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