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 Boston Bruins. Keep checking our NHL predictions throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins
Series: Panthers 3-3 Bruins
Our first and featured game of NHL predictions is one we didn’t think would happen. Matthew Tkachuk said no one gave the Panthers a chance, but they have a shot to do the unthinkable. Florida won a wild 6-5 game with Boston in Game 6 to force this deciding game. The Panthers have found a way to make it an up-and-down series where they can use their speed. Brandon Montour has been a vital part of the defence and stepped up. Sergei Bobrovsky will likely get the start for the Cats, who are pretty much playing with house money.
There’s a world of pressure on the Bruins, who broke all sorts of regular season records. Could the President’s Trophy curse claim its most celebrated victim of all-time? Linus Ullmark is listed as the projected starter. However, there have been a couple of mistakes that have jumped off the page. Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery might be tempted throwing Jeremy Swayman in net. However, it would be a lot of pressure to throw him into a Game 7.
Boston has been reeling and the pressure is on them. However, they’re a veteran team and will get it done. Florida deserves a lot of credit, but Boston will book a date with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Prediction: Bruins win 4-2.
Seattle Kraken vs Colorado Avalanche
Series: Kraken 3-3 Avalanche
Our last game of NHL predictions has the Seattle Kraken taking on the Colorado Avalanche. This is another unlikely Game 7 with the second-year club trying to upset the defending champs. Philipp Grubauer will once again get the start for Seattle. There’s no word on if Jared McCann will be in the lineup after missing Games 5 and 6. It’s hard to replace a 40-goal scorer, but the Kraken have been getting goals from so many sources. Seattle usually has no problem scoring goals, but has been better about stopping them.
Alexandar Georgiev will be tasked with the job of keep the Stanley Cup champs alive. Colorado finally looked like itself in Game 6 when Cale Makar returned from suspension. Colorado will have to replace Andrew Cogliano after a questionable hit from Seattle’s Jordan Eberle. Cogliano fractured his neck, but returned to play the third period. Alex Newhook will probably get moved to the third line. Colorado is going to have to try and get the first goal since Seattle has done so in each of the first six games.
Seattle has given a good account of itself, but the champions take the victory at Ball Arena. Colorado will get a matchup with the Dallas Stars in the second round.
Prediction: Avalanche win 5-3.
Main photo by: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports