NHL Predictions December 29: Washington looks to maintain their lead in the Metropolitan Division

The NHL season nears the halfway mark as the 2018 year is about to end. Can the Washington Capitals maintain their lead over Columbus in the Metropolitan Division? We’ll examine their game against Ottawa and several others. Note that all information is for games played through December 26.

San Jose Sharks versus Edmonton Oilers

The Sharks have lost their last three and are two points behind Calgary in the Pacific Division.  They are 8-8-3 on the road and take on an Edmonton team that is 10-6-1 at home and in the middle of the pack in the division. San Jose has a +19 to +14 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator, while both teams are trending down, at “average down” and “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. One of these teams is about to end a losing skid and it should be the Oilers, taking advantage of home ice.

Boston Bruins versus Buffalo Sabres

In this Atlantic Division match up, the fourth place Bruins take on the third place Sabres. Buffalo has won four of the last six between the teams and comes in 12-4-2 at home. The Bruins are 7-9-4 on the road and winners of six of their last ten. Nearly even on the oscillators, the Bruins have a +26 to +24 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. Both teams have shown relative stability, at +12 for Boston and +7 for Buffalo, so they are both performing consistently according to their favorite/underdog status. Buffalo should be slight home favorites and win the game.

Washington Capitals versus Ottawa Senators

In teams clearly at the opposite ends of the spectrum, the Capitals are first in the Metropolitan Division and 7-3 over their last ten games.  They have won five of the last six meetings between the teams and have an excellent road record at 11-5-1. The Senators are last in the division having lost two straight and 3-6-1 over their last ten. Washington has a +27 to +6 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “ice cold down” status. Ottawa has a fighting chance at home where they are 11-6-3 on the season. However, Washington appears poised to make a run towards the top teams in the Eastern Conference and will win the game.

Detroit Red Wings versus Dallas Stars

After a terrible start, the Red Wings bounced back but now is on a sharp descent again, sitting second from the bottom in the Atlantic Division. They are 3-5-2 over their last ten and losers of two straight. Dallas enters in the middle of the Central Division and are 4-6 over their last ten. Both teams are trending poorly, at “dead” and “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Dallas is ranked higher at +12 to +3, while the Red Wings are the more stable team according to the Team Volatility Oscillator. The advantage in this one goes to Dallas due to home ice, where they are 11-5-1 on the season. The teams have split the last six meetings, so this one is bound to be a tight contest. The Stars will win, perhaps needing overtime to do so.

Vancouver Canucks versus Calgary Flames

In this Pacific Division match up, the first place Flames look to extend their least and push the Canucks closer to the bottom. Calgary has lost three straight and is 6-3-1 over their last ten and 11-4-3 at home. They hold a +26 to +15 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. Vancouver is also 6-3-1 over their last ten and is near .500 on the road at 8-9-3. Calgary has won five of the last six meetings and that trend shouldn’t change in this one.  Look for the Flames to win by a couple of goals and hold their lead in the division.

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