Welcome back to NHL Game Day Predictions. Daily, Last Word on Hockey brings you a prediction and analysis of every game on the schedule. This will also feature a significant game on the schedule that is must-watch hockey. Today’s featured game is the Boston Bruins vs the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Boston Bruins vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Head to Head: Boston 1-1 Toronto
Fans of the Boston Bruins have to be frustrated with their performance over the last few weeks. They have now lost four straight to Montreal, Detroit, Philadelphia, and a monumental third-period collapse against Florida on Tuesday. Three of the four losses come against teams who have at least 22 points in the standings. This is a good sign, purely off of the fact that they are not being beaten by bad teams. But this needs to be turned around.
Injuries have hampered the Toronto Maple Leafs so far this season. They were without Travis Dermott and Zach Hyman for most of the season thus far and also missed John Tavares for a short period. Just last week, Mitch Marner went down with an ankle injury which will keep him out for at least four weeks. The injury to Marner is an especially large blow, as the young winger has established himself as an important piece of their top-six forward group.
Prediction: Maple Leafs win 5-3
Pittsburgh Penguins vs New Jersey Devils
Head to Head: Pittsburgh 0-0 New Jersey
It should be relatively unsurprising that the Pittsburgh Penguins have established themselves in a good position to start the year. That could change soon. Captain Sidney Crosby has been ruled out for the next six weeks, after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia. The positive spin on this is that they have Evgeni Malkin to replace him on the top line. He would be a top-line center on nearly any other team.
Sitting third from the bottom of the standings, things appear bleak for a hapless New Jersey Devils squad. Jack Hughes has looked decent for them, scoring nine points in 17 games so far this season. The 18-year-old center has done well to start the season and looks like he could live up to the potential of being a first overall pick.
Prediction: Penguins win 3-1
Montreal Canadiens vs Washington Capitals
Head to Head: Montreal 0-0 Washington
The Montreal Canadiens come into this one off of a shootout win against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Montreal. This is a team that can pick up ground in the Atlantic Division, as the first place Bruins have struggled over the last two weeks. With a Boston loss today, and a win over the Capitals, the Canadiens could pull within one point of first place in their division. This is a key game for Montreal against a tough opponent.
The Washington Capitals are having a strong season so far and look to be contenders yet again, under the leadership of Alex Ovechkin. His team-leading 13 goals have proven why he is one of the best goal scorers of his generation. When he plays alongside Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie, the Caps win games.
Prediction: Capitals win 3-2
St. Louis Blues vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Head to Head: St. Louis 1-0 Columbus
The St. Louis Blues took home the first win in this series and they should take the second one as well. The defending champs have played well to this point in the season but are coming off a loss in the shootout to a strong Arizona unit. Sitting at first place in the Central Division, St. Louis should be able to take a win over a Columbus squad that has been a shadow of last season’s team.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have not been as good as they were last season. They kept most of the big pieces on defence but lost far too much on offence. No team has scored less than the 42 put up by the Blue Jackets. It will surely be a disappointing season for the Blue Jackets after so much promise last season. The only thing going for the Blue Jackets is the hope of winning the Alexis Lafreniere draft lottery.
Prediction: Blues win 4-2
Philadelphia Flyers vs Ottawa Senators
Head to Head: Philadelphia 0-0 Ottawa
If the Philadelphia Flyers can pull off a win against the Ottawa Senators (and it shouldn’t be too hard), they can at least stave off the Pittsburgh Penguins and hold onto third place in the Metropolitan. Best case scenario, they close the gap between them and the Islanders. Things look good for Philadelphia this season and that should continue tonight.
With such a dismal amount of offensive talent on the Ottawa Senators roster, it’s shocking they are not in last place. They have managed to put together a 7-10-1 record through 18 games. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Brady Tkachuk have been the driving force for the offence with a combined 24 points. There are some bright spots for the Senators and it revolves around those two. It will take a lot for the Senators to pull out a win in the last game of this week’s NHL predictions.
Prediction: Flyers win 2-0
That does it for our NHL Predictions for today’s slate of games. Be sure to check back tomorrow for more predictions.
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