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 February 18th NHL Predictions, we’ll cover three games. There will also be a featured game and that is must-watch hockey. Today’s NHL Predictions featured game is the Nashville Predators vs the Carolina Hurricanes.
Be sure to also check out the early game NHL Predictions to stay informed.
St. Louis Blues vs New Jersey Devils
Head-to-Head: Blues 0-0 Devils
The St. Louis Blues have yet to right the ship after a post all-star break slump. The team is 2-6-2 in their last 10 games and have lost five in a row. For the first time in quite a while, they’re facing real opposition at the top of the Central Division. The Blues have all the opportunities to turn this around, and maybe they’re a team that looks into some help at the trade deadline.
The New Jersey Devils have fully entered selling mode. They recently traded their captain Andy Greene, and then completed another move that sent Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Devils have had a disastrous season, and that will continue against one of the top teams in the league.
Prediction: Blues win 5-2
Nashville Predators vs Carolina Hurricanes
Head-to-Head: Predators 1-0 Hurricanes
At first glance, this may not seem like all that important of a game. The two teams are in different conferences and have no history with one another. So, what makes this the featured game of the night? This is the only game of the night where both teams find themselves in the thick of the playoff race. The implications of this game are far greater than either of the other two games.
In many ways, the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes have endured similar seasons. They’re both playing pretty good hockey, but the results just haven’t gone their way. This being even more true for the Hurricanes. Carolina is one of the better teams in the league in most statistical categories but find themselves on the outside looking in. In contrast to previous seasons, the Predators are having difficulty stopping the puck. The combo of normally stingy defence and goaltending has not lived up to expectations, allowing 187 goals thus far. Both teams need this win, but Carolina gets it.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 4-2
Winnipeg Jets vs Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Jets 0-2 Kings
The Winnipeg Jets, much like the Predators, are a team that is seeing their playoff chances slip away. If they’re going to make a move to get in, they have to start now. Winnipeg has had an up-and-down season, but has shown flashes of being a solid team. The defence is so depleted, but Connor Hellebuyck has the ability to cover those warts at times. This is a must-win game and it comes against one of the bottom teams in the league.
Unfortunately for the Jets, while the Los Angeles Kings have not found much success against the rest of the league, they have already defeated Winnipeg twice. The two victories came earlier in the season in low-scoring affairs that were decided by one goal each. The Kings last victory over the Jets, however, came with Jack Campbell in net who is no longer on the team after a trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Kings may have found success earlier in the season against Winnipeg, but the Jets need this game and the Kings have already gone into selling mode. They unloaded forward Tyler Toffoli to the Vancouver Canucks… oh oh, here it comes.
Prediction: Jets win 3-1