Welcome to NHL Predictions! Each day, Last Word On Hockey will break down every game and give our NHL predictions for each game. Today we’ll cover the seven games happening on November 10th. This will include a featured game that should be must-watch hockey. The featured game today is the Vegas Golden Knights vs Detroit Red Wings matchup.
Florida Panthers vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Panthers 0 – 0 Rangers
The first game of the day is likely to be one of the most competitive, albeit not the most thrilling. The Florida Panthers and New York Rangers are both grouped into just below the middle of the league’s standings, ranking 17th and 23rd respectively. Their rankings should be taken with a grain of salt, though, as New York has played in two fewer games. Both teams came into the season with high hopes and have yet to live up to them.
Florida’s offence is continuing their success from last season, where they ranked ninth in the league in goals for. This year, they currently chalk in at 11th in that category, with 56 goals through 16 games so far. Unfortunately, they haven’t been nearly as strong in their own end. Despite being backed by the elite Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida has still allowed 58 goals-against. This ties them with the Calgary Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets for sixth-highest goals-allowed.
New York has been almost perfectly the opposite. They currently rank eighth in the league in fewest goals-allowed but 21st in goals-for. While Florida’s offence seems to be the only bright spot for them, New York’s has yet to find its groove. That could be changing, though. The Rangers have scored a combined nine goals in their last two games. This includes a four-goal outing against the Carolina Hurricanes, a notoriously stout defensive team. While it’s a small sample size, the Rangers seem to be finally clicking. With their goal-limiting-abilities among the best in the league, New York could very well have the upper hand in Sunday’s matchup against the Panthers.
Prediction: Rangers win 3-1.
Dallas Stars vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Stars 0 – 0 Jets
The matchup of relatively disappointing teams continues between the Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets. Dallas’ struggles are of particular note, as many took them as the “most likely to surprise” prior to the year. Instead, they have again seen their fair share of depth-related issues. The trio of Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov, and Roope Hintz are the only ones to net double-digit points through the team’s first 17 games. This is despite the addition of Joe Pavelski and bounce-back favorite Corey Perry, who have eight and four points respectively.
The Stars offence, as a whole, ranks at a measly 27th in the league in goals-for. This is a far cry from their pre-season expectations. Luckily, their stout defence and strong netminders have done well at bailing the poor offence out, ultimately settling the Stars in at an 8-8-1 record. This places them fifth in the Central Division and 11th among the entire Western Conference.
One win ahead of the Stars ranks the Jets, who have had a roller coaster of a start to their 2019-20 season. The team has suffered through the loss of Dustin Byfuglien and multiple injuries, leaving their blue-line looking relatively barren. Thanks to Connor Hellebuyck‘s start to the year, the Jets haven’t had nearly as much to worry about. Through his first 13 appearances this season, Hellebuyck has allowed only 29 goals-against. He’s recorded a very impressive .933 save percentage and a 2.30 goals-against average. He is expected to suit up for the Jets in Sunday’s game and will continue to provide a great spark to the relatively mediocre Winnipeg offence. With Hellebuyck in net, Winnipeg should have no problem finding a way to topple the continuously struggling Stars.
Prediction: Jets win 2-1.
New Jersey Devils vs Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Devils 1 – 0 Canucks
For the second time this season, the Hughes Brothers will face off against one another. In the first time around, the New Jersey Devils found a way to squeeze by the Vancouver Canucks, by a score of only 1-0, courtesy of Jack Hughes‘ first NHL goal. On Sunday, brother Quinn Hughes will surely be seeking retribution.
Whether he’ll find it is, surprisingly, up-in-the-air. The Devils have split their last four games, with two emphatic wins met by two equally-dramatic losses. This includes being shutout by the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, ultimately losing 4-0. Such a dramatic loss in their last outing will surely light a fire under a few Devils players, while the added competition could bring out an even stronger side to the already red-hot Jack Hughes. The younger Hughes has recorded nine points in his last nine games, finally establishing his footing in the NHL. He will be the difference-maker in Sunday’s matchup, as he looks to once again upset his older brother.
With that said, Vancouver surely won’t make things easy for the Devils. They’ve been a truly dominant team to start the year, establishing a record of 9-5-3 heading into Sunday’s game. They rank at 10th in goals-for and seventh in goals-allowed, a far cry from their previous selves. Similar to New Jersey, they were also crushingly defeated in their last match, losing 4-1 to the struggling Jets. Overall, Sunday’s game could become very exciting. The Canucks, fueled by a healthy dose of sibling rivalry and revenge, could show their true-form in Sunday’s match as fans watch to see if they can actually topple New Jersey this time around. Their elite talent will be tested by a measly, yet determined, Devils roster, led by the feisty Jack Hughes.
Prediction: Canucks win 5-2.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Leafs 0 – 0 Blackhawks
In their first Sunday game of the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs receive relatively slim pickings in the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago has looked truly atrocious to start the year. There seem to be virtually no redeeming factors blessing the team. They currently rank 26th in the league. Their offence, a group blessed with elite talent in Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, and Jonathan Toews, ranks 30th in goals-for. They’ve simply not been able to score this year and, as a result, come into Sunday with a 5-7-4 record.
The only bright spot in Chicago has been Robin Lehner‘s continued elite play. Many claimed the goalie would be a one-hit-wonder after his Vezina-nominee 2018-19 season with the New York Islanders. He’s clearly proven skeptics wrong, though. On a team that is far less defensively-sound than the Islanders, Lehner has still managed very admirable numbers. He sits at a .935 save percentage and 2.33 goals-against average heading into Sunday’s game, where he is expected to start. Despite these great numbers, the poor Blackhawks offence has gotten the best of Lehner and hindered him to a 3-3-2 record.
Against a stellar Leafs offence, Lehner could easily be left out to dry. Toronto has done a great job of taking advantage of their terrific offensive-depth so far this year, ranking fifth in goals-for in the early-going of the season. Nothing will change as the team faces off against Chicago, although Mitch Marner will be held out of the game with an injury suffered Saturday night. Even without Marner, Toronto has a truly scary group of talent at forward and should take full advantage of a stunted Blackhawks lineup.
Prediction: Leafs win 5-0.
Philadelphia Flyers vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Flyers 0 – 0 Bruins
The Philadelphia Flyers have won four of their last five outings, with the one loss coming to the Leafs in a shootout. They’re very much clicking, after a poor start to the year set the team off on the wrong foot. With a 9-5-2 record, the Flyers rank 14th in the NHL, with a seemingly bright future ahead of them.
It’s hard to bet against them in any game at this point. The trio of Sean Couturier, Oskar Lindblom, and Travis Konecny has performed wonders for the team’s offence. Konecny, in particular, leads the team in scoring with a very admirable 17 points in 16 games. With Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek also playing very well to start the new year, Philadelphia fans have very little worries.
Unfortunately, the team’s hot streak may be extinguished by the dominant Boston Bruins on Sunday. Boston has proven they are among the league’s elite, clearly playing with a chip on their shoulder after losing in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. The team ranks fourth in the league currently, boasting the seventh-best offence in terms of goals-for and the second-best defence in terms of goals-against. There are absolutely no holes in Boston’s boat right now. Every aspect of their team is flushed out and they’re winning games because of it. If any team were to suppress Philadelphia’s strong play, the menacing Bruins would surely be the ones.
Prediction: Bruins win 6-3.
Edmonton Oilers vs Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Oilers 0 – 0 Ducks
Once a fairly discounted matchup, the meeting of the Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks could be one of the more theatrical among today’s NHL predictions. Both teams have blown fans away to start the year, with one boasting a very strong offence and the other an extremely strong defence. It’s hard to pick which team has been more surprising, although Sunday’s matchup could help fans decide.
The Oilers quickly proved that they got the long-straw in the trade that swapped Milan Lucic for James Neal. Neal currently ranks third on the team in points, with 14 through 18 games. What’s more impressive is that 12 of Neal’s 14 points have been goals. A truly impressive number in so few games and almost double what he recorded in 63 games last season. Neal has made the Oilers offence truly special, with the dynamic Connor McDavid–Leon Draisaitl duo continuing to amaze.
Meanwhile, the Ducks have looked surprisingly sound to start the year. Goaltender John Gibson was clearly not fond of the rumored rebuild, taking it on himself to carry Anaheim to a 9-7-1 record. In 13 appearances this season, Gibson has tallied a .923 save percentage and 2.55 goals-against average. His strong play has ultimately placed the Ducks fifth in the league in goals allowed. He’s expected to take the net against the grueling Oilers offence, creating what’s sure to be an exciting game.
While there’s no clear advantage for either team, there is little room for betting against McDavid and Draisaitl. Even in the face of elite goaltending, they’ll surely find a way to come out on top.
Prediction: Oilers win 3-2.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0 – 0 Red Wings
The featured game of this edition of NHL predictions, the bout between Vegas and Detroit could be surprisingly close. Many fans will be quick to bet on Vegas and for admittedly good reason. The Golden Knights are, simply put, a favorite for the Stanley Cup this year. They have a truly impeccable roster, with no glaring issues at any position. The team ranks 12th in the league in goals-for and 19th in goals-allowed, showcasing their well-rounded nature. While many had hoped for a better start to the year, Vegas has proven their ability to bounce back at any given time.
At first glance, the Red Wings seem like the perfect candidate to start this bounce back. They rank dead-last in the league, to the dismay of many fans who thought higher of the front-loaded Detroit lineup. With the recent addition of Robby Fabbri, though, Detroit’s offence could make a much-needed turn-around. In his first game with the team, the speedy Fabbri scored two power-play goals and added a tremendous spark to the team’s all-around play. While it wasn’t nearly enough to confidently say the Wings can beat Vegas, they could certainly offer a challenge.
This is emphasized by Vegas’ expected goaltending selection. Malcolm Subban is expected to suit up, relieving the heavily-worked Marc-Andre Fleury. Subban has lost all three games he’s appeared in this year, with a record of 0-1-2. He has tallied a solid save percentage of .911 but a very poor goals-against average of 3.29. This could make for an exciting game, as he faces a Red Wings offence that has seemed to get their confidence back. While the elite Golden Knights will likely keep things from getting too exciting, this could very easily be a very important game for the rest of Detroit’s season. After such a dominant performance in their last outing, expect them to give their all against Vegas.
Prediction: Red Wings win 6-5.