With the NHL season heading into the home stretch, teams jockey for position for the post season. Here’s what is on tap for March 8. Note that standings and records are form games played through March 6.
Philadelphia Flyers versus Boston Bruins
Boston comes in second in the Atlantic Division, while the Flyers are third in the Metropolitan, two points out of first. Boston won the last meeting 3-0 as a road underdog. They hold a +28 to +21 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and +11.17 to +8.84 on the Team Strength Oscillator. Boston has won three straight, while Philadelphia has dropped their last three. The Flyers are very solid on the road, but the advantage has to go to the Bruins. Although the game will be tighter than the last meeting, expect Boston to come away with the victory.
Vegas Golden Knights versus Detroit Red Wings
Vegas has a comfortable lead in the Pacific Division, while the Red Wings are struggling to get to .500. Detroit took the last meeting by a 6-3 score as a road underdog. Both teams are “ice cold down”, but Vegas has a huge +23 to +3 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. Although the Red Wings are at home, there is little indication that they will be able to take down the Knights for the second time. Look for Vegas to kick it into gear heading towards the playoffs.
New York Rangers versus Tampa Bay Lightning
This match up features two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum. Tampa Bay is at the top, while the Rangers are at the bottom in their respective divisions. The Rangers won the last meeting as a road underdog, but the Lightning hold commanding advantages on both the Team Strength Oscillator and Power Ranking Indicators. Both teams are in the top ten in Team Volatility, which bodes well for the home favorite Lightning. Expect Tampa Bay to come away with somewhat of a cake walk win.
Carolina Hurricanes versus Chicago Black Hawks
Neither teams look to be making the post season and currently playing mediocre, at best. Chicago won the last meeting as a road underdog, but the Hurricanes have a +14 to +8 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. A similar advantage is seen on the Team Strength Oscillator. The Hurricanes are hovering around .500 on the road, as are the Black Hawks at home. Simply because they are at home, I will go with the Black Hawks in a one goal game.
Washington Capitals versus Los Angeles Kings
Washington is in a battle on top of the Metropolitan Division, while the Kings are hovering in the middle of the Pacific Division. Los Angeles took the first meeting between the teams as a road underdog. The teams are nearly even on the Power Ranking Indicator, but the Kings have been better lately, “burning hot” versus “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Going strictly with the trend, I pick the Kings battle to a win, perhaps in overtime.
St. Louis Blues versus San Jose Sharks
The this Western Conference battle, the Blues are near the bottom in the Central Division, while the Sharks are second in the Pacific Division. San Jose won the last meeting as a road underdog and have a +26 to +13 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. The Blues are just 2-6-2 over the last ten, giving them a “dead up” status. St. Louis is also fifth in Team Volatility and as the road underdog, further strengthens the argument to go with the Sharks. Look for San Jose to take this one by two or more goals.
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