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 Chicago Blackhawks vs Detroit Red Wings.
Minnesota Wild vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Wild 2-0 Jets
Our first game of NHL predictions is the Minnesota Wild versus Winnipeg Jets. The Wild are projected to start Filip Gustavsson in net, but always check social media before locking in a fantasy starter. Minnesota has won four straight games and are three points ahead of Winnipeg for second in the Central Division. The Wild’s defence hasn’t given up more than three goals in any of the last five games.
Winnipeg has lost four of its last five games and are trying to fight off the Colorado Avalanche for the last automatic spot in the division. Connor Hellebuyck is slated to be the projected starter for the struggling Jets. The defence has to get things together if they don’t want to get sucked into the wild card conversation.
Minnesota has been convincing in its two wins over Winnipeg. The trend should continue.
Predictions: Wild win 4-1.
Chicago Blackhawks vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 1-0 Red Wings
Our featured game of NHL predictions has an old-time hockey rivalry. Chicago won the first encounter of the season 4-3 in overtime. The Blackhawks have lost four of their last five, but did blank the Ottawa Senators, 5-0, in their last game out. Chicago is the worst team in the Western Conference and will be in the mix for Connor Bedard at the draft lottery. The Hawks are dead-last in goals for and 29th on the power-play. Petr Mrazek is the likely starter in net for the Blackhawks.
Ville Husso is the probable starter in net for the struggling Red Wings. Detroit has lost six straight and is seemingly falling out of the Stanley Cup Playoff race. The Wings have scored two goals or less in four of the last five games. Detroit started off well, but it seems like the club is going to play out the string and re-rack for next year. The Red Wings did some selling at the deadline, but did retain Dylan Larkin for a long-term deal.
Both teams are struggling, but the Wings get just enough to get the win.
Prediction: Red Wings win 4-2.
Anaheim Ducks vs Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Ducks 0-1 Canucks
Our last game of a light night on NHL predictions features the Anaheim Ducks versus the Vancouver Canucks. The only meeting of the season was a wild 8-5 game that saw the Canucks hang a snowman on the Ducks. John Gibson will likely draw the start in net for Anaheim. The Ducks have played fairly well in recent games with wins in four of their last give. This winning streak could be a problem as the club might be playing its way out of getting Bedard.
Thatcher Demko is the current projected starter in net for the Canucks. Vancouver has also played well as of late with wins in three of its last five. The Canucks have scored at least four goals in their last three victories. Vancouver is 11th in both goals for and on the power play. Demko’s return has helped stabilize a lost Canucks’ season that’s been painful for the fan base.
The quality of hockey between the two teams has been better as of late. Anaheim is actually 5-1-1 in the last three season and will make it six in a high-scoring affair.
Prediction: Ducks win 5-4.
Main photo by: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports