With the NHL playoff races tightening, there are several good games on tap for Thursday. Let’s take a look at what is in store.
Carolina Hurricanes versus New Jersey Devils
The two teams are battling in the middle of the pack in the Metropolitan Division. They are dead even on the Power Ranking Indicator at +13, while the Hurricanes are “average” versus “average down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. New Jersey had lost four straight through Monday, but are solid at home. I give the Devils a slight advantage and look for them to get back on track in this one.,
New York Rangers versus New York Islanders
It hasn’t been a great hockey season for the New York clubs, as both are bringing up the rear in the Metropolitan Division. The teams are both “ice cold up” on the Team Strength Oscillator, while the Rangers hold the narrowest +11 to +10 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. The Islanders are good at home, while the Rangers are one of the worst on the road. Also against the Rangers in this one is that they are tied for 9th in Team Volatility, meaning they are consistently losing as an underdog. Look for the Islanders to come out on top to remain unbeaten between the teams this season.
Detroit Red Wings versus Tampa Bay Lightning
The Red Wings are hovering near the .500 mark, while the Lightning have the best record in the NHL. Not surprisingly, Tampa Bay holds a commanding +26 to +5 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “average up” versus “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. The Lightning are also one of the best in Team Volatility. It would be a major upset if the Red Wings pull this out. I see Tampa Bay taking this one relatively easy to increase their streak over the Red Wings to four.
Anaheim Ducks versus Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks enter last in the Central Division, while the Ducks look to push past the middle of the pack in the Pacific Division. Chicago holds a 1-0 edge in head-to-head play this season, but Anaheim has a clear advantage in this one. They are “burning hot” versus “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator and +18 to +6 on the Power Ranking Indicator. Although Chicago is at home, Anaheim has been over .500 on the road and should come away with a win in this one.
Montreal Canadiens versus Arizona Coyotes
Arizona has the worst record in the NHL, while the Canadiens are also on the looking from the outside in the playoff race. The Coyotes are +1 on the Power Ranking Indicator versus +5 for Montreal. Both teams clearly struggling, with the Canadiens at “ice cold down” and the Coyotes at “ice cold up” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Likely a road favorite, Montreal is tied for third in Team Volatility. While the game likely wont be pretty, the Canadiens should walk way with a one or two goal win.
Edmonton Oilers versus Vegas Golden Knights
This is a match up of two teams heading in opposite directions. Vegas is first in the Pacific and +29 on the Power Ranking Indicator, while the Oilers are near the bottom in the Pacific and +3 on the Power Ranking Indicator. Vegas also is “average up” on the Team Strength Oscillator, while the Oilers are “ice cold down” In a surprise, the Oilers hold a 2-0 advantage in head-to-head play this season. That is about to change as Vegas will win this one in rather easy fashion.
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