Written by Cameron Michael•
This Week in the NHL: News and Predictions
As most teams approach the sixteen game mark in the season, we are starting to see who is who in the NHL. It’s been another top year of Hockey so far, and the games to come this weekend are shaping up to be more of the same.
We have selected four of the most eye-catching matchups happening on the ice this time out. No need for any further delay, let’s get straight into those predictions.
New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers
The Islanders come into this game a little sore after their 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Penguins. Letting a three-goal lead slip in the final period is always going to hurt. To lose the game in overtime after that is borderline shocking.
It’s not all gloom and doom, and the Islanders are still up in second with games in hand in the Metropolitan Division. This game is one they need to win to keep up the pressure on the Capitals.
The Panthers are in the same division and lost to the very side leading it when they went down 5-4 to the Capitals. That was again in overtime, and strangely they had to give away a commanding lead to allow that to happen. So this game seems to be all about composure and closing out a result. It should be an entertaining one, and you can expect plenty of goals.
Prediction: Islanders 6-4 Panthers
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Philadelphia Flyers
It’s three wins on the trot for the Maple Leafs as they host the Flyers, another form side in the NHL this season. That run started against the Flyers with an overtime win, and they haven’t looked back since.
Hot on the tails of the Bruins and looking to push even closer, you know they will be up for this game. John Tavares might just be the key to the door, they need to win again.
The last game the Flyers lost was that very game against this same opposition. In two clashes since they recorded wins over the Hurricanes and the Canadiens. Philadelphia will be looking for revenge in this one, and it’s possible they could get it. Another game that is less than straightforward to call, we think it will be tight throughout the match.
Prediction: Maple Leafs 3-1 Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks
The Penguins experienced back to back defeats before the overtime win, when they faced the Islanders. This is a game where they can get the much-needed run started. This team has proven they have what it takes.
Look at the 7-1 demolition of the Flyers. Consistency is their only challenge and one they need to overcome if they want Stanley Cup glory this NHL season.
After a surprise victory last week against the Canucks, in only their fifth win of the season, this game needs to be another positive result. The postseason is already looking like a bridge too far for Chicago.
If they can somehow add another positive result against opposition as strong as the Penguins, it gives them a massive building block for the future. We can’t wait to see how this game unfolds. It could go either way
Prediction: Penguins 4-3 Blackhawks (OT)
Colorado Avalanche vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Hitting the Predators for nine goals last time out has left the Avalanche in hot pursuit of the Blues, in the NHL Central Division. Nine wins, five defeats, and two overtime losses do not sound world-beating, but Colorado are collecting enough results to make the postseason.
It was a huge win for the Blue Jackets last time they took to the ice, and it was well needed. They need to take every positive they can, from this NHL season, and their 3-4-3 record could still improve. We are not sure this is one they will be able to dominate, though. The Avalanche score for fun and the Columbus defense could be facing an onslaught they will want to forget.
Those are the Games
It was hard choosing four games this week, but the list we have come up with ticks all the boxes. Whether you tune in for entertainment or like to gamble, there is only one place to be this weekend.
That is in front of the television, soaking up as much NHL as you possibly can. Join us again next week for the game review, and we will have more predictions for you as the season progresses.