*Note that any records are for games played through Tuesday, November 7.
Florida Panthers versus Buffalo Sabres
This match up features the teams with the worst records in the Atlantic Division. The teams split the four-game series last season. The Panthers are -14.05 and “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator, while the Sabres are -13.99 and “average”. Buffalo also holds a slight +6 to +1 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. While both teams are far from a sure bet, I go with the Sabres in a close game at home.
Boston Bruins versus Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maples Leafs enter in second place in the Atlantic Division while the Bruins are in the middle of the pack. However, Toronto is just 4-6 over the last ten games and “dead” status, while the Bruins are 5-2-3 over the last ten. Both teams are declining on the Power Ranking Indicator, although the Maple Leafs hold a +9 to +5 edge. The teams split the four games played between them last season. A deciding factor is that the Leafs are tied for 10th in Team Volatility and playing at home gives them an edge. I see Toronto holding off Boston to maintain their position in the division.
Pittsburgh Penguins versus Washington Capitals
The Penguins are on top of the Metropolitan division, while the Capitals are in fifth. The Penguins won the only meeting between the teams so far this season as a road underdog. Pittsburgh holds a +22 to +14 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. They are also first in the NHL in Team Volatility, meaning they are most consistent winning as favorite and losing as an underdog. I will check the line before the game and pick accordingly depending on the favorite/underdog status of the Penguins.
Carolina Hurricanes versus Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus is near the top in the Metropolitan Division, while the Hurricanes are bringing up the rear. This is also reflected on the oscillators. Carolina is -4.89 and “dead” on the Team Strength Oscillator, while the Blue Jackets are “average”. Similarly, Columbus holds a large +26 to +2 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. To top if off, the Blue Jackets are tied for 7th in Team Volatility. The Blue Jackets should win this one rather easily.
New York Islanders versus Dallas Stars
The Islanders and Stars have nearly identical records coming in and are in the middle of the pack in their respective divisions. Both teams are “average” status on the Team Strength Oscillator and +18 on the Power Ranking Indicator. In addition, both are in the top 10 in Team Volatility, making this one a tough call. The Islanders won two of three meetings between the teams last season. I see Dallas winning in a close one, mainly because of playing on home ice, to even the score in the last four meetings.
Winnipeg Jets versus Vegas Golden Knights
Both teams are playing well and in second place in their respective divisions. This is the first meeting between the teams. Winnipeg is at +8.45 compared to +7.17 for the Golden Knights on the Team Strength Oscillator, while Vegas holds a slight +27 to +21 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. Vegas is 6-1 at home and while Winnipeg is a strong 4-1-2 on the road, the edge has to go with Vegas in this one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an overtime win.
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