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 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Islanders.
Arizona Coyotes vs Winnipeg Jets
Head to Head: Coyotes 0 – 2 Jets
The first game on the NHL Predictions is a Central Division showdown. A competitive Arizona Coyotes squad takes on the Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg is fighting for playoff position, whereas the season is almost wrapped up for the Desert Dogs.
One player to watch for is Clayton Keller. He is having a career year for himself and has been on fire as of late. In addition, Keller has 34 points in the last two months of play and averaging 1.7 points per game. Just unreal stuff and if all goes well, he can be the franchise points leader for one season.
The Jets do have Connor Hellebuyck. He has been one of the best goaltenders all year and ranks fourth in goals saved above expected. Arizona could see its four-game win streak snapped as they run into him as the starter.
Prediction: Jets defeat Coyotes 4-3
Detroit Red Wings vs St. Louis Blues
Head to Head: Red Wings 0 – 0 Blues
Our next game on the NHL Predictions is a good one. The Detroit Red Wings travel to take on the St. Louis Blues. This is the first of two back-to-back meetings. Both teams are well out of playoff position, but there is plenty to enjoy in this game.
Ville Husso makes his return to St. Louis after being traded this off-season. He has been solid for them overall but has been shaky in his last five starts. What a great way to get on track facing your former club. One player who has not missed a beat is Jakub Vrana. Since being moved for pennies on the dollar, he has enjoyed his time in Missouri. Vrana scored five goals and six points in March. Just an awesome story for him considering how the year went for him.
There is not much else going for these two clubs, but great come-back-type stories for players facing their former teams.
Prediction: Red Wings defeat Blues 4-2
Toronto Maple Leafs vs New York Islanders
Head to Head: Maple Leafs 1 – 1 Islanders
Tonight’s featured game on the NHL Predictions features two playoff teams. The Toronto Maple Leafs square off against the New York Islanders. Toronto is primed to have home ice in round one, whereas New York is fighting for every two points.
When it comes to between the pipes, this will be a good matchup. Ilya Sorokin has been one of the best goaltenders all season long. He ranks at the top in goals saved above expected and can single handily carry the team. Ilya Samsonov should be in line to start. In his first season with Toronto, he has been a major bright spot.
This game features a potent offence against a stingy defence. Not only do they have the second-ranked power play unit, they average 3.42 goals per game. When you have an offence of Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Auston Matthews that adds up. However, New York does not give up much. They average 2.69 goals against per game and have a strong defensive structure. It will be interesting to see how it matches up but expect a tight contest.
Prediction: Islanders defeat Maple Leafs 3-2
Main Photo: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports