Welcome back to NHL Predictions, where the Last Word on Hockey provides insight into all of today’s games. On Saturday, November 9th’s edition of NHL Predictions, we’ll take a look at five games. Today’s featured game is the battle of the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Washington Capitals.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head Golden Knights 0 – 0 Capitals
The Vegas Golden Knights have had five games go past regulation this season. Their record isn’t too hot in them, losing all the overtime games, and winning two in a shootout. They are in the middle of a four-game road trip with a 1-0-1 record. After facing the tough Washington Capitals, they face the Detroit Red Wings in a back-to-back affair.
The Golden Knights seem to be a bit out of sorts this season. They can’t get a winning streak going, and that’s uncharacteristic for them. When you compare their record after 17 games last season they were just 7-9-1, so they’ve improved in that respect. It just seems the team is labouring and having five overtime contests can be a concern that they’re not able to finish off games in regulation. They’ll have a definite challenge facing the Capitals who are off to a terrific start so far.
The Washington Capitals seem to be rolling along at supersonic speed this season. In fact, they are currently on a five-game winning streak after earning a four-game win streak earlier in October. They are in first place in the Metro Division sporting 27 points after 17 games as of this writing.
When you have Alex Ovechkin anything is possible, but so far this season John Carlson is the go-to guy as he is fifth in the NHL in scoring, right above his teammate Ovechkin. With the might of that offence, the Capitals don’t have any issues scoring. That creates an issue for the Golden Knights stopping them.
Prediction: Capitals win 4-3
Minnesota Wild vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head Wild 0 – 0 Coyotes
The Minnesota Wild have been a disappointing team this young season but seem to be turning things around a bit. They started the 2019-20 campaign with a dismal 1-6 record and have since improved to 5-10-1. They already own two losing streaks of four games and three games and things have not gone very well. Last season the Wild were a respectable 10-4-2 at this point and trying to turn things around may be difficult.
Goalie Devan Dubnyk has not been his usual self in net with a .883 save percentage and a less than admirable 3.64 GAA. When the team lets in 3.56 goals a game it’s not going to be pretty. Even though the Wild are playing better, they have a long journey ahead to be respectable.
The Arizona Coyotes have really improved this season and own 20 points over 16 games. Once again they have been plagued by the injury bug. Two players are on the injured reserve and two others are day-to-day. Unfortunately, three defencemen are among the injured and that puts them short on the blue line. Kyle Cabobianco was called up to fill in and Ilya Lyubushkin has also been called in to help.
The Coyotes have a stellar defence and hope to shut down the hapless Wild and end their two-game losing streak. The Yotes are led by Nick Schmaltz who has collected four goals and 10 assists. Young Conor Garland has seven goals to lead the team.
Prediction: Coyotes win 5-2
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head Blue Jackets 0 – 0 Avalanche
The Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a five-game losing streak when they got past the Coyotes Thursday night 3-2. They still have two more tough teams on their three-game road trip including this matchup against the Avalanche. They will journey to Montreal next for a game on November 12th.
The Blue Jackets are doing the best they can with the roster they were left with after losing key players like Artemi Panarin, and Matt Duchene to free agency. They are certainly missing that offence and are only averaging 2.38 goals a game.
The Colorado Avalanche have been decimated by injuries to their top two players, Mikko Rantanen (week-to-week) and Gabriel Landeskog (injured reserve). Yet, they are a deep team and proved it by thrashing the tough Nashville Predators 9-4 Thursday night. That win broke their five-game losing streak in a big way. Joonas Donskoi scored a hat trick to pace the Av’s. Nate MacKinnon leads the Colorado club in scoring with nine goals, 13 assists this season. Whenever you have a player of his calibre on the ice, you have a shot at winning.
Prediction: Avalanche win 4-2
St. Louis Blues vs Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head Blues 0 – 0 Flames
Speaking of a team with injury issues, the St. Louis Blues lost their premier winger Vladimir Tarasenko on October 24th for potentially the rest of the season due to shoulder surgery. Then, they lost Alexander Steen to a high ankle sprain and he won’t be ready for at least four weeks. Still, the Blues are the reigning Cup champs and persevere. Even without two important players, the Blues have won eight of nine games showing they’re rolling. They are leading the Central Division with 25 points. and winning overtime games too. Four of their six consecutive wins have come in overtime. Good teams find a way to win.
The Calgary Flames are second in the Pacific Division with 22 points. They trail the Edmonton Oilers who have 24 after a win last night. They are being pursued by the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights who are one point back. Things are bunching up with the Coyotes just two points from the leaders. The Flames have been a hot and cold team thus far this season. They will attempt to give the Blues some trouble and try to stop their winning streak. Matthew Tkachuk has nine goals and nine assists and Elias Lindholm leads the team with ten tallies. It won’t be an easy task to get by the Blues but who said life was easy in the NHL?
Prediction: Flames win 3-2 in overtime
Nashville Predators vs San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head 1 – 0 Sharks
Back on October 8th, the Nashville Predators won 5-2 in just their third game of the season. Roman Josi paced the Preds by scoring the first two goals of the game. In their last game, the Predators fell victim to the offensive barrage displayed by the Avalanche and gave up nine goals. It’s fair to say the Predators want to forget about that game and move forward. On paper, it seems likely that the superior team is the Predators, but that’s why they play the games.
The San Jose Sharks are definitely not the team they were last year. They were 8-6-3 last year and have just not played the level of hockey one is accustomed to seeing them play. They barely got by the weak Wild team after having two different four-goal leads in a wild 6-5 affair. This team is feeling the pain of paying Erik Karlsson tons of money and losing valuable players they are now starting to miss significantly. The Sharks may be the victims of one very unpleasant feeling Nashville team after their thrashing recently.
Prediction: Predators win 6-4
That does it for this edition of NHL predictions for November 9th. Be sure to check the other games today which were be written by Alex Metzger.