Welcome back to NHL Predictions. Every day Last Word on Hockey brings you a prediction and analysis of every game on the schedule. In the late-games edition of the November 19 NHL Predictions, we’ll cover seven games. There will also be a featured game on that is must-watch hockey. Today’s NHL Predictions featured game is the Vegas Golden Knights vs the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Be sure to also check out the early game NHL predictions to stay informed.
St. Louis Blues vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Head-to-Head: Blues 0-0 Lightning
The defending Stanley Cup Champions have followed up a hot start to the season with a recent losing skid, losing their last three games. Two of these games, however, finished with the Blues gaining an extra-time point in overtime or shootout losses. Going to overtime has been common for the St. Louis Blues in recent weeks. 7 of their last 9 games have been decided in overtime or the shootout.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have suffered a disappointing start to the 2019-20 campaign. After one of the greatest seasons in NHL history, Tampa is sitting at sixth-place in the Atlantic Division. It isn’t time to panic just yet though. Tampa has played just 17 games, the fewest of any team in the league. With plenty of time and 3 wins in their last four games, the Lightning have plenty of time to turn the corner on this season. There’s too much talent on this roster and they’ll continue the turn around in St. Louis.
Prediction: Lightning win 4-1
Nashville Predators vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Predators 0-0 Jets
What’s going on with the Nashville Predators? A team lauded for their defensive prowess has given up 23 goals in their last four games. The avalanche of goals against has led to the Predators losing six of their last seven games. The Predators came into this season with big expectations but have not lived up to those lofty goals thus far.
The Winnipeg Jets, on the other hand, have exceeded expectations. A seemingly disastrous off-season followed up by a bevy of injuries early in the year has still produced a team that currently sits in a playoff spot. Connor Hellebuyck has had a bounce-back season and Mark Scheifele is characteristically steady. With a skilled offence and the Predators having trouble keeping pucks out of the net, The Winnipeg Jets should continue their winning ways in this game.
Prediction: Jets win 5-3
Chicago Blackhawks vs Carolina Hurricanes
Head-to-Head: Chicago 0-1 Carolina
The Chicago Blackhawks appear to be turning a corner after a rough start to the season. The team has won five of their last six games, and their only loss came in the shootout. One of the most important contributors to this run has been Kirby Dach. Dach is emerging as an impact-player for Chicago with six points in his last four games. Perhaps even more impressive is the output by the rookie in limited time. Dach is averaging just 11:13 in time on ice in his first season.
The Carolina Hurricanes woes on the road have been well documented this season. While the Hurricanes have struggled away from home, they’ve won their last two games on their three-game road trip. While this may seem encouraging, their wins came over Buffalo and Minnesota. It may be early to assume they’ve righted the ship. The Hurricanes going a perfect three-for-three seems unlikely, so the Blackhawks win this game in a close affair.
Prediction: Blackhawks win 4-2
Vancouver Canucks vs Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Canucks 0-1 Stars
The Vancouver Canucks are one of the teams that has been hard to predict in this NHL predictions series. The team has cooled off over recent weeks. With just one win in their last seven games, some may expect they’ve dropped in the standings. The Pacific division is relatively weak and the Canucks still rank third in the division standings. Vancouver has exceeded expectations this year, but a young team goes through ups and downs. They’re currently in a down period but are well situated to bounce back.
The Dallas Stars know a thing or two about bouncing back, following up a terrible start with 7 wins in their last 8 games. What’s even more impressive is that they’ve gone on this winning run without top production from the team’s top stars. When the Stars are winning the culprit is often goal-tender Ben Bishop. Bishop used to be a regular Vezina candidate during his time in Tampa but injuries derailed his career for a short time. The towering goalie now seems to be back on track with a brilliant season that is an encore to last year’s outstanding campaign. The Vancouver Canucks have a high-powered but inconsistent offence. Expect Bishop to stymie the Canucks’ attack in this game.
Prediction: Stars win 3-1
Calgary Flames vs Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Flames 0-1 Avalanche
The Calgary Flames will take on the Colorado Avalanche for the first time since opening night. Both teams started the season as Stanley Cup contenders, but the 2019-20 campaign has not turned out that way for Calgary. The team sits at fifth place in the Pacific Division that they won just last year. Nothing has gone right for the team recently as they’ve been out-scored 12-1 in their last three games.
In contrast, the Colorado Avalanche have lived up to expectations this season. This may seem like it’s obvious, but Nathan MacKinnon has truly cemented his place as one of the greatest hockey players in the world. MacKinnon broke out during the 2017-18 season and built upon that last year with 99 points. While that may seem like MacKinnon’s crowning moment, this year is the first time the 2013 #1 overall draft pick has had to carry a team by himself. With running mates Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen out with injuries, the weight of the world falls on MacKinnon’s shoulders. With 11 points in his last five games, the forward has proven that he can carry a team entirely by himself. Expect another big night for the Avalanche.
Prediction: Avalanche win 4-1
Vegas Golden Knights vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0-1 Maple Leafs
While they still sit just one point out of a playoff spot, the Vegas Golden Knights have not lived up to expectations. Vegas was slotted to be Stanley Cup Contenders but that promise has yet to materialize. Their last game showed signs of improvement, however, as they scored six goals. This team is filled with talent and should be able to turn things around. The Leafs seem like an easy target at the moment, but this could be a classic “trap” game.
The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t very good. The Leafs are losers in their last five games and are playing boring hockey as well. The team has had injury problems, the most recent being an injury to Alexander Kerfoot. Despite the injuries, their performance has been inexcusable. This upcoming game serves as an opportunity for the Leafs to get back on track against the last team they beat before their losing streak. This may just be a hunch, but Toronto needs to win. When a team needs to win and has the talent to do it, they play motivated hockey.
Prediction: Maple Leafs win 4-2
Edmonton Oilers vs San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Oilers 0-1 Sharks
Each time the Edmonton Oilers lose, it’s presented as the start of the team falling back to Earth and taking their rightful place as a basement dweller. But the Oilers keep proving people wrong. They aren’t as hot as at the very beginning of the season, but they’re still leading their division. This doesn’t come as a surprise, but this has largely been on the backs of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. The dynamic duo leads the league in scoring with 43 and 40 points respectively.
The San Jose Sharks appear to have turned a corner. They’re on a six-game winning streak and appear to have broken out of their early-season woes. One of the wins during this streak came against the Edmonton Oilers. The Sharks offence has been their calling card during the last three games, scoring a combined 15 goals. While the Sharks beat the Oilers on November 12th, Edmonton will get their redemption on Tuesday night.
Prediction: Oilers win 6-4
That’s all for NHL Predictions. Tune in each day for more.