Written by Chris Monti•
On the Ice: NHL Weekly Roundup
As we approach the twenty game mark in the NHL season, you can feel the excitement growing across the continent. The race for the Stanley Cup is wide open, and there were some crucial matches this weekend between some of the top sides in the ranking.
Now is the time to look forward to the upcoming games this week, and delve into what happened at the weekend passed. It’s going to be another fantastic week of games in the NHL.
Anaheim Ducks 2-6 Edmonton Oilers
This was a massive game for the Ducks as they aimed to gain some ground in the NHL Pacific. They needed the win to move within three points of the top, but they failed to deliver that and now must try to play catch up.
That leaves their season record at 9-8-1, which is far from terrible, but they now need as many wins as they can muster over the next few outings to stay in contention. Next up for the Ducks is a game against the Red Wings, and we will back against them winning that one.
The Oilers continue to march on, and that was their 12th win of the season. The performance was fantastic, and the three goals from Connor McDavid backed up by two from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were more than they needed to sail past Anaheim here.
It’s hard to see anyone in the whole of the NHL that could beat them when they find that groove. The next team they face will not be looking forward to the meeting. Our money is on the Oilers, adding another win when they play the Sharks.
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Boston Bruins 2-3 Philadelphia Flyers
The Bruins have lost their way over the last week. All three games have ended in defeat, and although they still lead the NHL Atlantic, their staff and fans will be concerned. Switches in form like this can indicate deeper problems within the squad, and Boston will be hoping they can turn it back around soon.
They never looked like winning this game, and if it hadn’t been for the last period resurgence where they scored twice, it would have been a whitewash. It was lucky they had the chance at overtime, but even with the momentum working in their favor, they threw that final opportunity away. The Bruins must now beat the Panthers next time to keep their position.
Another game, another win for the Flyers. The previous four games have seen the Philly side turn on the style and they look unbeatable at the moment. The last period almost cost them in the end, but Boston is now up to third in the NHL Metropolitan.
The reality is that winning three games on the bounce with a scoreline of 3-2 could look fortunate, but those wins have been hard-earned. It’s going to be a test of their metal as they meet the Capitals next time out. We are taking a punt and backing them for the win.
Vancouver Canucks 1-2 New Jersey Devils
Well, what can we say about the Canucks and their slide down the standings? If Vancouver fans weren’t worried before, they will be now. This game was the fourth defeat in a row, and considering the opposition, it should have been avoided.
The Canucks need to sort out both their defense and offense. They look impotent in attack and decidedly dodgy when defending. They have a chance at turning the tide next time they play. The Predators are no walkovers, but the odds are on the Canucks getting an overdue win.
The Devils came into this one with a gameplan to frustrate the opposition, and it worked. To put it into context, this was only the fifth victory that the New Jersey side had registered all season. It wasn’t the prettiest of performances by all means, but it delivered the much-needed win.
The NHL season is effectively over for the Devils, and the only hope is that the removal of pressure can get them some more wins. They face the Senators in the next game, and we think they will be back to their current losing form.
Next Week in the NHL
Those are the three games that gave us the most enjoyment over the weekend. We will be back again later this week with our full predictions for the matchups for the week to come. The NHL season is almost a quarter of the way through now.
At this stage, there is everything to play for. Who can push on, and who will slide further out of contention? What will be the predicted and actual results this week? Check-in with us again to stay up to date.