Calgary Flames(27-18-8) vs New Jersey Devils(27-17-8)
The Devils are coming off a terrible loss to a terrible team, and with that loss, the Penguins jumped them and now the Devils are the #3 spot in the Metropolitan division. Now with the Penguins back and playing like we all know they can, I cannot see the Devils getting that #2 spot back for an extended period of time. The Devils luckily come into this game returning home and playing the Flames who are 4-2-4 in their last ten, but also on a two-game win streak. The Flames have been a back an forth team in the Pacific for the whole season, they have shown glimpses of being a top team in the league but also have shown signs of a struggle. These two are very similar they both have one to two key guys that do the heavy lifting and everyone else on the roster does their role and plays their part. The Flames do out favor the Devils goaltending as Corey Schneider is hurt and Mike Smith has been playing like a #1 goalie the Flames have been longing for. The Devils would like two points tonight, to jump the Penguins and give them some hope but I don’t think we see a Devils win, the Flames are battling for a playoff spot and have the best road record in hockey(14-5-5) better than their home record. Going Flames.
Montreal Canadiens(22-25-6) vs Philadelphia Flyers(25-19-9)
On the day of the Eagles parade, the Flyers CANNOT lose. The Flyers are slowly gaining traction in that wild-card race, with the Rangers playing like a squirt team and the Islanders struggling as well, the Flyers are in the first wild-card spot and three points behind the Devils. An Islanders win tonight(which will happen) will make this race interesting, the Flyers need to take advantage of a bad team and a home game. A playoff hopeful team they cannot afford to let games slip. I see the Flyers winning but keeping it interesting and fans on the edge of their seats. Over the last ten, the Flyers are 5-4-1 coming off a big win vs Carolina, as the Canadiens are a struggling team all season and have a ton of questions to answer before the deadline, but they are 4-5-1 in their last ten on a two-game win streak, coming off a win vs Ottawa. The Flyers only concern is their goaltending as they have a slew of injuries and have been rolling with Alex Lyon, their AHL back up, but I do believe Brian Elliott may be back tonight. Either way, I am sticking with the Flyers, they need to win this game to show signs of a playoff push and have that mentality that every game is a playoff game from here on out. Going Flyers.
Colorado Avalanche(29-19-4) vs St. Louis Blues(32-20-3)
The Avalanche are without Mikko Ratanaen and Nathan MacKinnon but somehow pulled out a win vs the Sharks the other night. They come into tonight with a big win, but on home ice of the St. Louis Blues. The Blues are 6-4-0 in their last ten coming off a blowout loss to Minnesota Tuesday night. I like the Blues offense this season, but only when they have their three rolling all season, they faced some struggles when Schwartz was out, but likely he is back. The story in St. Louis is the play of Carter Hutton, he has taken over the crease and has started in I believe ten of their last eleven games. The Avalanche are 6-3-1 in their last ten and battling for a playoff spot, this will be an interesting race for the rest of the year. A big two points on the line but I think the Blues take advantage of a bruised Av’s team, home ice and take the win. They are 18-11-0 on home ice while the Av’s are 10-12-3 on the road. Going Blues.
Dallas Stars(31-19-4) vs Chicago Blackhawks(24-21-8)
I really want to go Stars tonight just because they are obviously the better team and are rolling as of late, they are 7-2-1 in their last ten, on a three-game win streak and one point behind the Blesu for the #3 spot in the Central. The Stars offense has been clicking as of late, while the three key guys(Benn, Seguin, Radulov) do their job, their role guys like Radek Faska, Mattias Janmark have been chipping their fair share. The Blackhawks are out of a playoff spot, and really have no chance of making the playoffs this season, not something I expected myself to say this early. While yes they do have Patrick Kane and a slew of forwards, their defense lacks tremendously and their goaltending has been battered all year. They currently sit 7 points out of a playoff spot with very few chances to make the playoffs. For some reason I see the Hawks playing pretty well tonight and keeping it close but the Stars want that top three spot and I don’t see them letting off the gas, although they are 12-11-3 on the road so are the Hawks at home, 12-11-3, I have to go with the better team tonight. Go Stars.
Vegas Golden Knights(35-14-4) vs San Jose Sharks(28-17-8)
Vegas is coming off a loss to the Penguins, which I expected, this team is extremely hot they eventually had to run into a wall and lose, they have lost in fact, three of their last ten, and one in overtime as well so four. Either way, this team has been unbelievable and a story to tell for years to come. Production from Jonny March and “Billy” Karlsson has been unforeseen and the reason Vegas has found themselves where they are. The Sharks on the other hand, a team that is allowing that #2 spot in the Pacific to slip as the Kings and Flames are gaining traction on them tonight and the Kings picking up a win Wednesday night and the Flames play tonight, the Sharks need to ratchet things up and luckily comes on home ice where they are 14-7-3. I had to come in with all these good news but the Golden Knights are no team to take lightly on the road and we have found that out the hard way, but Vegas is 16-11-2 on the road and although they are not as good on the road as they are at home, they still have a chance and more than likely are favorite every night. Which, they are favorited to me too because I am going Vegas.
Other games on tonight…
Islanders vs Sabres: Islanders
Predators vs Senators: Predators
Canucks vs Lightning: Lightning
Coyotes vs Wild: Wild