NHL Predictions January 4: Will Vegas go back on top in the Pacific?

The first weekend of 2019 has arrived and the NHL has reached the halfway point of the season. The Vegas Golden Knights have been on a roll. Can they continue that against Anaheim to move to the top in the Pacific Division? That match up and more will be examined. Note that all information is for games played through January 1.

Nashville Predators versus Detroit Red Wings

Nashville is in on the tails of the Winnipeg Jets in the Central Division, while the Red Wings look to end a losing skid. Last season the teams split the two meetings between them. The Predators have won their last two after a skid and are at +12 on the Power Ranking Indicator and “dead up” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Detroit has lost their last five and 1-6-3 over their last ten. The are +1 and “dead” status.  Nashville is a solid 9-8-2 on the road and the Red Wings are under .500 at home. I think Nashville comes away with a road win, perhaps in overtime to continue Detroit’s tumble.

Columbus Blue Jackets versus Carolina Hurricanes

In this Metropolitan Division match up, the Blue Jackets enter in second place, while the Hurricanes are second from the bottom. The teams have split the previous two meetings this season.  Columbus is 7-2-1 over their last ten, are +21 on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Carolina is 3-6-1 over their last ten with a +2 ranking and “ice cold up”. The Hurricanes are the more stable of the two teams according to the Team Volatility Oscillator. They have a solid home record, but Columbus is excellent on the road at 12-5-1. It’s likely the Blue Jackets will continue their climb towards the top and win this one by a goal or two.

New York Rangers versus Colorado Avalanche

The Rangers sit in the middle of the Metropolitan Division and take on a Colorado team that is third in the Central Division. New York won the first meeting between the teams this season as a home underdog and hold a +13 to +10 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. Two teams heading in opposite directions, New York has won four straight and is “burning hot” compared to a five game skid and “dead” for the Avalanche. The Rangers have had trouble on the road, but the trend is telling me to lean towards New York. Perhaps taking overtime to do so, the Rangers will extend Colorado’s losing streak.

New Jersey Devils versus Arizona Coyotes

The Devils are winners of their last three but are still near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. They have a +11 to +6 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator over the Coyotes, who are 4-6 over their last ten. Last season the teams split the two meetings.  Arizona is a sub par 7-11-1 at home, however New Jersey has been woeful on the road, at 4-12-3.  New Jersey is the more stable of the two teams with a +4 rating on the Team Volatility Oscillator. As a likely road underdog, this leans the pick towards Arizona. The Coyotes should find a way to pull this one out, ending New Jersey’s winning streak.

Vegas Golden Knights versus Anaheim Ducks

The Vegas Golden Knights have won four straight and enter in a deadlock with the Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division. The Ducks are fourth in the division, but have lost their last six games. Vegas won the last meeting between the teams as home favorite by the score of 2-0. They hold a +24 to +8 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. They are also much more stable, at +15 to +3 on the Team Volatility Oscillator. Vegas is a respectable 11-12-1 on the road and Anaheim is 10-4-7 at home. The trends are important and Vegas could a slight road favorite. Despite the status, go with the hot hand and Vegas will win and keep pace with Calgary.

 

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