Written by Chris Monti •
On the Ice: News and Predictions
The games are coming thick and fast in the NHL, and we had a hard time narrowing down the fixtures to bring you the very best on offer. At this stage of the campaign, you can see who has been doing the business. It’s also apparent which teams need to kick on, to have any chance of a successful regular season. Let’s not spend any more time and dive right into those exciting matchups to come this week.
Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers
The Capitals slipped to the second straight defeat last time out against a resurgent Canucks team. That defeat to the Rangers prior to the battle with Vancouver has made this game more critical than ever for Washington. They still have a gap between themselves and the Islanders chasing in second, but that’s only thanks to New York losing their last two matchups. The Capitals need to find that winning formula again and fast.
For the Panthers, it’s a similar story with their last win coming two games ago when they faced the Ducks. Defeats against both the Hurricanes and the Sabres mean their second-placed position in the NHL Atlantic is under threat. They can count themselves lucky that the third-placed Canadiens have seen their form drop off a cliff. Something has to give soon if the Panthers want to win the top prize this NHL season.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Vancouver Canucks
The Penguins come into this game with two straight wins under their belt and will be hungry to add a third to that list. They need victories to make ground in the NHL Metropolitan, and at this point in the season, they have everything to do. If the Penguins can continue their recovery with another success here, then there’s all to play for. They may have wished they were meeting the Canucks before their recent improvement in performances, though.
It’s back to regular service for the Canucks despite losing their last game to the Flyers in unfortunate circumstances. Before that, they recorded impressive wins over the Capitals and the Predators, and they hold onto that third spot in the NHL Pacific. Another successful outing in this one could see them close the gap on the Coyotes, so the pressure is on.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers
The game of the week this one, and we can’t wait to see which side manages to come out on top. Matchups like this can go either way, and it could be breakneck excitement, or the two giants could cancel each other out. The Oilers are flying at this point, and they lead the way with a commanding lead in the NHL Pacific.
The Avalanche have found themselves slipping and are now down to the NHL Central fourth spot. That makes this game all the more crucial, but they will be concerned that they might succumb to a third defeat in three appearances. There’s more than enough quality in the team, and it can only be a matter of time before they are back to their winning ways.
Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Islander
It’s rock bottom for the Kings, and this game doesn’t look like an opportunity to change the status quo for them this season. They are 9-13-2 for this NHL campaign, and that is about as far away from a good return as you can be. The most frustrating thing is they have the talent, and the 5-1 surprise victory over the Oilers proves that. Could this be another game where they cause an upset?
The Islanders need to bounce back here after two disappointing losses ensured they missed their best chance to make ground on the Capitals after their recent slip-ups. The last game was a whitewash, as they failed to score against the Ducks. Prior to that was another shocking overtime defeat to the Sharks. This game could have come at the right time for a positive reaction.
That’s it for the top NHL games coming this week, and we can’t wait to take in all the action. As the season matures, you can see who looks like they might claim the glory. Who will take another step forward on the road toward the Stanley Cup? There’s only one way to find out, so stay tuned.