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 Florida Panthers vs Calgary Flames.
Anaheim Ducks vs Nashville Predators
Ducks 0 – 0 Predators
The first matchup of this NHL predictions article sees two teams off to disappointing starts. The Anaheim Ducks have been a disaster so far this season with a 6-15-1 record. That is dead last in the league and by multiple points too. Trevor Zegras still shows off some highlight reel plays but there is just not enough after that. A blueline that has Kevin Shattenkirk and John Klingberg likely soon to depart has been underwhelming, and it may finally be time to wonder if John Gibson can ever return to the form he was at four-plus years ago.
The Nashville Predators haven’t been able to repeat the hot run that saw them sneak into a playoff spot last season. Maybe not very surprising considering that run saw career years from multiple different players, most of who are not young guys you’d expect to keep developing. Matt Duchene, Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg, and even Ryan Johansen were all better than expected, it’s hard to find the same magic even if some of those guys are still playing very well.
Overall, this one could be a very high-scoring game.
Prediction: Predators win 4-3.
Colorado Avalanche vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 0 – 1 Jets
This is a game that would usually be a strong contender for NHL predictions featured match, the Winnipeg Jets took Game 1 of the season series 4-3 in Overtime. Tonight, the Colorado Avalanche will look for some revenge. However, it won’t be easy. This Avs team is suffering from injuries and just had to make a signing to help. Still, they carry along at 12-6-1 and are third in the division.
The Jets are 13-6-1 and second. Finally having some of the success this team had hoped for, a new coach has seemed to help. What’s helped even more is that Connor Hellebuyck is reminding people he is a top-tier NHL goalie. Often overlooked in lists, he can be the best goalie on the planet in any given year. Look for him to help take two points tonight.
Prediction: Winnipeg wins 3-2.
Florida Panthers vs Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Panthers 0 – 1 Flames
It is our featured game for NHL Predictions as Matthew Tkachuk makes his return to his old team in Calgary. Last week, Jonathan Huberdeau returned to Florida and the Flames won 5-4 in a shootout. Huberdeau needs to hope that keeps going tonight for both himself and the teams sake. It has been a miserable start on his new contract with 10 points in 18 games. A large reason for the 9-9-3 start the Flames have gotten off to. Even worse? Jacob Markstrom has been a disaster in the net. He currently has a .889 save percentage. The Flames will go nowhere if he plays like that.
Matthew Tkachuk has seen his point totals sustain from last years crazy run. He currently sits at 29 points in 20 games and seems to be fitting into Florida very nicely. However, the team is 10-8-4 and currently fourth in the division. Spencer Knight has looked solid early but Sergei Bobrovsky has not. One has to wonder how much more leash the veteran may have left. This team is in a loaded Atlantic division and must keep earning points to keep up. Tonight, look for two fast and desperate teams fighting for two points.
Prediction: Flames win 4-3 in overtime.
Washington Capitals vs Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Capitals 1 – 0 Canucks
The Washington Capitals injuries have been too much to overcome this season. The team is 9-11-3 and in a very competitive Metro division. The good thing for fans is that Alex Ovechkin keeps putting up points, so at least that is something to be happy about. Darcy Kuemper has been solid too but they have been crippled with injuries and unable to find a rhythm.
The Vancouver Canucks team started very slow but have started to win a few and turn it around. Their offence has been solid, led by Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson. But the big change has been Thatcher Demko starting to round into form. If he can continue playing like he did last year and shake off the bad start, this team may keep on winning.
Prediction: Canucks win 5-2.
Seattle Kraken vs Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Kraken 2 – 0 Kings
The Seattle Kraken have one of the more sneaky fun offences in the league. However, the goaltending continues to prevent this team from being a true contender. They have managed to get to second in the Pacific with a 13-5-3 record but one has to wonder how long that can last with Martin Jones playing at a .906 save percentage and Phillipp Grubauer still being nowhere close to good enough. Still, the team is full of really solid NHL players and they have seemed to have bought into a system that works. Look for a hard-fought match.
The Los Angeles Kings sit right behind the Kraken in the standings. A win tonight would tie them in points, although the Kraken have three less games played. Still, the Kings want to show last year was no fluke and they deserve to be in a playoff spot. Kevin Fiala has fit in well and this team is starting to round into form. They too have some questions long-term in net, but for now things seem to be working.
Prediction: Kings win 4-3 in overtime.