NHL Predictions February 1: Calgary looks to extend lead in Western Conference

The NHL is past the half way point of the season and the playoff races are heating up. The Calgary Flames look to extend their lead out west against the Washington Capitals. Four other games will be examined and note that all information is for games played through January 28.

Calgary Flames versus Washington Capitals

The Flames are 8-1-1 over their last ten and enter “burning hot” and +29 on the Power Ranking Indicator. The Capitals are second in the Metropolitan Division but have lost seven straight, contributing to their “dead” and +12 on the Power Ranking Indicator. Calgary is the more stable team, so take the Capitals favorite/underdog status with a grain of salt. The Capitals won the last meeting by the score of 4-3 as a road underdog. Calgary is 16-9 on the road, which surpasses Washington’s home record. Calgary will come away with a win and maintain their position in the Western Conference.

Ottawa Senators versus Pittsburgh Penguins

Ottawa is mired in last in the Atlantic Division, while the Penguins are in the middle of the Metropolitan. The Penguins hold a  +19 to +4 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. Both teams have lost their last two, leading to “average down” and “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. The Penguins have been marginally unstable, so pay little attention to their favorite/underdog status. The Senators have won both meetings between the teams this season, but are just 7-16-1 on the road this season. Pittsburgh should win this one, perhaps by only a goal in overtime.

Chicago Blackhawks versus Buffalo Sabres

Despite winning their last two, Chicago is at the bottom of the Central Division. They are “average up” and at the bottom on the Power Ranking Indicator. Buffalo is 3-6-1 over their last ten and the middle of the Atlantic Division. They are trending poorly at “ice cold down” but are still +17 on the Power Ranking Indicator. The teams split the two meetings last season.  Chicago has just eight road wins compared to 14 home wins for the Sabres. Make that 15 wins after this one is in the books.

Toronto Maple Leafs versus Detroit Red Wings

Toronto is a distant second in the Atlantic Division, while Detroit is second from the bottom. Both teams are 4-6 over their last ten games and Toronto has won two of the last three games between the teams. They hold a +19 to +2 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator, but are trending “ice cold down” versus “average” for the Red Wings.  No home ice advantage in this one since Toronto is 16-6 on the road versus 10-12-4 for Detroit at home. Toronto should win this one rather easily, probably by two goals.

Minnesota Wild versus Dallas Stars

Two Central Division teams battle in the middle of the division. The Wild have won their last three and are “burning hot” on the Team Strength Oscillator and +21 on the Power Ranking Indicator. Dallas is 4-5-1 over their last ten and are “ice cold up” and +8. Neither team is particularly stable according to the Team Volatility Oscillator, so be cautious when examining the favorite/underdog status. The teams have split the meetings so far this season. Minnesota is a solid road team at a game over .500, while the Stars are 15-8-2 at home. Dallas should be able to take this one, but don’t be surprised to see it go to overtime.

 

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