Chicago Blackhawks(29-31-8) vs Boston Bruins(42-15-8)
Without a doubt go Bruins today. The game is going to be aired on NHL Network, probably going back and forth between this game and Vegas. But the Bruins are home, clearly the better team, on a five-game win streak and 7-3-0 in their last ten. Although this game may be won by the Bruins, I could see Chicago putting up somewhat of a fight, despite their terrible season, they still have a few solid pieces on their roster. This will also mark the first meeting between the two, and in years past these games always pan out to be solid matchups. The Bruins even without three top players on their roster will be fine, the Blackhawks struggle tremendously on all facets of the ice. Offensive depth scoring, defensive depth, and goaltending since Corey Crawford has been out. If there is one give me game tonight it is this one.
Montreal Canadiens(25-31-11) vs Tampa Bay Lightning(47-17-4)
I am not sure what the need of four 1 o’clock games is for but the Lightning are also the other game on at 1:00 P.M. Being that it is a divisional play and the Lightning and Canadiens have met three times prior to this, I think we can see a solid game here this afternoon. The Lightning currently hold the season series at 2-1, their last win coming in a shootout, February 24. Before that on January 4, the Canadiens won in a shootout, so these games always are close and usually a good showing. The Lightning are currently two points away from reaching the 100-point mark, so that is something to play for, but also 8-1-1 in their last ten on a four-game win streak is a whole other story in itself. The Canadiens in their last ten are 3-3-4, and two of those wins were against the same team last week. The Canadiens are without Pacrioetty, Price, and Weber. Easy choice tonight, Bolts at home going Lightning.
St. Louis Blues(35-27-5) vs Los Angeles Kings(37-25-5)
Almost identical records, but by god, talk a quick death. The Blues in just a month have fallen out of the three spot in the Central and plummeted out of a playoff spot now. They currently trail the last wild card team by four points. Which just so happen to be the Kings. The Blues I have no real answer for, they traded away a veteran got nothing in return to replace him and have struggled to see solid goaltending, scoring depth and dealing with some injuries on the backend. The Blues in their last ten are 1-7-2… ok wow, I had no idea they were that terrible. Well, even MORE of a reason to go, Kings, tonight. They are making a playoff push have two teams on their tail and have an opportunity to create some separation tonight. The Kings are coming off a big win vs Washington Thursday night. They are 7-3-0 in their last ten and I cannot see them losing today vs the Blues. Easily going Kings tonight, playoff push, season-ending soon, they need all the points they can.
Pittsburgh Penguins(39-25-4) vs Toronto Maple Leafs(39-22-7)
The Penguins are going up against another Eastern Conference juggernaut, I bet the NHL is furious they scheduled this game thinking the headline was Matthews vs Crosby but Matthews is out. Still, these two teams have a ton of talent and are on a roll since the All-Star break. The Penguins are coming off a 5-2 win over Philly, and now one point ahead of Washington for first. they are 7-3-0 in their last ten on a three-game win streak, with a relatively healthy line up(Bryan Rust out indefinitely), but still, have their top guys healthy and performing. The Leafs on the other hand dealing with Matthews being out have not been as successful but they are still inches away from the top of the leaderboards in the NHL. They are 5-3-2 in their last ten coming off two straight losses one that happened to come against a bad team, Buffalo. Big regroup game for the Leafs, but I don’t see them taking this game with the Penguins hot, going Penguins tonight.
New Jersey Devils(34-26-8) vs Nashville Predators(44-14-9)
There is no shot New Jersey takes this game tonight, at Nashville with Nashville on a 10-game winning streak, 10-0-0 in their last ten and have basically locked up the first seed in the Central division. The Predators are on an absolute roll, their offensive depth is unbelievable and the Devils are coming off a couple of bad losses, and go into Nashville where Nashville is 24-7-3. The Devils do not have it easy now or for the rest of the year. As their remaining schedule on the road is, at Vegas, Kings, Ducks, Sharks, Penguins, Lightning. It will be tough for New Jersey to get one here, they are 4-6-0 in their last ten, Columbus on their tail by one point and Florida on their tail by three points. If you are a Devils fan, I’d be concerned. Thousand-percent Predators tonight.
Other games on tonight…
Rangers vs Florida:
Golden Knights vs Sabres: Vegas, but this will be a solid game, Buffalo has been playing some of it’s the best hockey as of late since they’ve realized they have nothing to play for. I would not be surprised if Buffalo took this honestly.
Jets vs Flyers: Jets, too hot right now.
Coyotes vs Avalanche: Going to be a close one, similar to Buffalo, Arizona has bought into spoilers hockey and we may see that here tonight…
Capitals vs Sharks: Capitals have dropped all of their West Coast games, three straight losses may be tough, but I could see the Capitals doing it here today.
Wild vs Oilers: Wild.