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 25th NHL Predictions, we’ll cover six games. There will also be a featured game and that is must-watch hockey. Today’s NHL Predictions featured game is the St. Louis Blues vs the Chicago Blackhawks.
Be sure to also check out the early game NHL Predictions to stay informed.
Detroit Red Wings vs New Jersey Devils
Head-to-Head: Red Wings 0-2 Devils
This match-up features two of the bottom feeders in the NHL. Both were sellers at the trade deadline as the Detroit Red Wings shipped off Andreas Athanasiou and then made another trade involving Mike Green, while the New Jersey Devils jettisoned Sami Vatanen, Louis Domingue and Wayne Simmonds.
Neither of these teams were good before the trade deadline, so it is hard to say how they fare afterwards. That being said, the Devils are actually playing better hockey as of late, going 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. So we’ll give them the win in this game.
Prediction: Devils win 3-1
St. Louis Blues vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Blues 2-0 Blackhawks
The St. Louis Blues had a quiet deadline day and are now priming for another playoff run. The Blues have won four straight games to re-gain their perch atop the NHL Central division. They’ll look to win their fifth straight against a team they’ve had a lot of success against this year. The Blues played the Blackhawks twice in December and came out victorious both times. Another win over their rival would put the Blues in prime position to carry momentum into the playoffs.
The Chicago Blackhawks will be a fundamentally different team than they had been this season when they take the ice Tuesday night. The goal-tending controversy between Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford is over, as Chicago traded Lehner to Vegas. Chicago also made a deal sending Erik Gustafsson to Calgary. These two teams are headed in different directions as St. Louis gears up for the playoffs and Chicago accepts their role as a rebuilding club. The result of this game should reflect that.
Prediction: Blues win 4-2
Nashville Predators vs Ottawa Senators
Head-to-Head: Predators 0-1 Senators
The Nashville Predators elected to stand pat on deadline day, despite being in the thick of the playoff race in a crowded Western Conference. If the Predators do make the playoffs, they’ll be used to playing in close games. four of Nashville’s last five games have been decided by just one goal. They’ll be taking on a team in this game that they should match up well against.
If not for the historically bad Detroit Red Wings, the Ottawa Senators would be the worst team in the Eastern Conference. They have continued to stockpile assets and are clearly not actively trying to compete. Nashville is the better team right now.
Prediction: Predators win 4-1
Minnesota Wild vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Head-to-Head: Wild 0-0 Blue Jackets
The Minnesota Wild are not statistically eliminated from the playoff race, but it seems unlikely they can climb into a spot. They fired their now-former head coach Bruce Boudreau. They also traded a few major pieces. Besides that, there isn’t too much to talk about as they wrap-up a fairly mediocre season.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are in a bit of a free fall at the moment, losing their last 8 games (as of this writing. The Blue Jackets play Monday night, so this may change(. Fortunately for them, five of those losses have come in overtime, so they aren’t getting nothing in the points category. The Metropolitan Division is ultra competitive, so this has resulted in the team falling out of a playoff spot. Expect them to get back in the win column.
Prediction: Blue Jackets win 3-2
Arizona Coyotes vs Florida Panthers
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 1-0 Panthers
Of all the games on Tuesday night, this game has the most implications moving into the playoffs. Both the Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers are fighting for playoff spots, but find themselves right on the bubble.
They both have also been faltering recently with the Panthers going 3-7-0 in their last 10 games and the Coyotes going 4-5-1 in that same time frame. Both teams should be getting some help though as the Coyotes will be getting Darcy Kuemper back from injury soon and the Panthers added some pieces at the deadline. Something has to give for one of these teams and we’ll pick Arizona because they’re at home, and Florida may need a few games to gel with their new players.
Prediction: Coyotes win 4-3
Anaheim Ducks vs Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Ducks 0-1 Oilers
The Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers have only played each other once so far this season, which is odd given how late we are into the year and that the two teams are division rivals. In their lone match up, the Oilers laid a 6-2 beating on Anaheim.
As has been the theme with many of these predictions, one can really tell the direction of the two teams given how they treated the trade deadline. The Ducks sold off some of their depth pieces like Ondrej Kase, Nick Ritchie and Derek Grant. Meanwhile, the Oilers added pieces in the previously mentioned trades with Detroit for Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green. The Oilers are playing pretty well as of late, and just got Connor McDavid back. Their good fortune should continue here.
Prediction: Oilers win 4-1