The Devils look to stay hot in Minnesota. The Ducks battle the Sharks. Winnipeg visits Nashville. Let’s have a look at our NHL daily predictions.
|Blue Jackets vs Sabres
ML -162 / +142
|Coyotes vs Maple Leafs
ML +185 / -225
|Flames vs Capitals
ML +125 / -145
|Jets vs Predators
ML +125 / -145
|Devils vs Wild
ML +150 / -170
|Ducks vs Sharks
ML Off / Off
Here are tonight’s starting goaltenders, courtesy of LeftWingLock.
The Game to Watch: Ducks vs Sharks.
The Anaheim Ducks head into the Tank to take on the San Jose Sharks. I have professed my love for the Battle for California many times in my pieces over the years.
Anaheim-San Jose is my very first piece of evidence, in case you needed convincing.
It is always an intense matchup whenever the Ducks and Sharks go at it. Each of the last nine encounters between these two teams have been decided by one goal. Three of those nine games took extra time. There are usually shots abound, and every single one carries tremendous weight.
Their first meeting of the year came at the beginning of this month. Corey Perry struck first in the game for the Anaheim Ducks under seven minutes into the action, then scoring went dormant. It took until the second half of the third period for there to be another goal. This time, it was Joel Ward finding the back of the net for San Jose. The goal was Ward’s third of the year.
Overtime came and went without a tiebreaker, and the Sharks eventually got the best of Ryan Miller in the shootout.
The loss was Miller’s first as a Duck. He stopped 44 of 45 shots in 65 minutes.
Miller’s brief tenure in Anaheim has been marred by injuries. His most recent issue, a lower-body injury, will keep him out of action for at least another week. He is eyeing a return to practice hopefully later this week post-Thanksgiving.
That means that John Gibson will be worn down as the Ducks’ starter. Reto Berra is available to back up, but Anaheim will likely be riding Gibson for the foreseeable future.
Anaheim played host to the Florida Panthers last night.
San Jose, like Anaheim, remains on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. They have struggled mightily on their current homestand, mustering only one goal in two games against Boston and Florida. Their powerplay is 0-for-17 in their last six games.
Only three skaters on the Sharks have double-digit points: Logan Couture, Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl. Brent Burns is mired in a seven-game pointless streak and has yet to find the back of the net in 18 games.
To further emphasize how badly Burns is suffering- #88 is seventh in the National Hockey League in shots on goal with 75. He is tied with Tyler Seguin, who has eight goals (10.7%). The players ahead of him in shots are Nikita Kucherov (17 goals), Phil Kessel (eight), Vladimir Tarasenko (10), Evander Kane (11), Alex Ovechkin (13) and Max Pacioretty (seven).
To say the man is due would be an understatement.
Burns has 15 shots on goal in his last three games alone. It’s coming.
The Sharks need Burns to kickstart their offense, which has been starving for some time. They have scored 14 goals in seven games this month.
I would say that their best chance to get it going would be on home ice against a rival team that has not had any time to rest, but then again, the under has hit in five of their last six meetings in San Jose. There have been five goals or fewer scored between these two teams in each of their last 10 meetings.
There will likely not be a whole lot of scoring in this one.
Prediction: Take the Sharks to wake up against the Ducks. Play the stone-cold under.
Other NHL Daily Predictions
Devils vs Wild: New Jersey continues to pick up points but is losing a bit of steam. Their stranglehold on the Metro Division is finally weakening, as the Pittsburgh Penguins have tied them in points at 25. The Devils are 4-3-3 in their last 10 games.
Part of the problem has been their play on the road. The Devils have dropped four of their last five on the road. Their lone win was a 4-1 comeback against the Chicago Blackhawks. While that was a terrific comeback, one that will make the season-end highlight reel for sure, it is emblematic of their struggles as the visiting team. Their defense simply has not been up to snuff.
Over their last five road games, the Devils have allowed 22 goals. Simply not good enough.
Minnesota joins San Jose, Anaheim and Edmonton in the “teams that made the postseason that would not if they started tomorrow” club. They have won four of their last five to keep pace with the rest of the West, but will need to rip off a few more wins.
New Jersey has beaten the Wild in each of their last four meetings. This will be a tough matchup for them nonetheless. They have lost five of their last six against Western Conference opponents.
Prediction: Take the Wild to win. Play the over.
Jets vs Predators: Who are the goaltenders that you considered taking in your fantasy hockey draft this season? Jonathan Quick? Henrik Lundqvist? Carey Price? Matt Murray?
Bet you would not have expected Connor Hellebuyck to be one of the best fantasy pickups of the year so far.
But it’s true. If you started off the season with Hellebuyck on your team, you’re feeling pretty start right about now. Hellebuyck won his third consecutive start against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, stopping 34 of 36 shots on goal.
Hellebuyck has only allowed more than two goals in a game three times. He’s been one of the hottest goalies in the NHL, much to the surprise of many. When Steve Mason signed with the Winnipeg Jets, it seemed like he was set to take over the starting job and serve as a mentor to the 24-year-old Hellebuyck. Not so.
Hellebuyck and the Jets are heading into the lion’s den tonight, as they take on the Nashville Predators. The Preds have won their last three home games and are 6-1-1 on the year on home ice. In their last three home wins, they have scored 16 goals.
For as good as they have been at home, though, their offense pales in comparison to that of the Winnipeg Jets this season. The Jets are currently seventh in the league in scoring with 63 goals through 19 games- 3.32 per game.
Filip Forsberg has already eclipsed 20 points through 19 games. So have Blake Wheeler and Mark Schiefele. Brace yourself for an offensive showdown.
And for frame of reference, the home team has won the last four meetings between these two teams.
Prediction: Take the Predators to win. Play the over.
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