The NHL season is well underway and here are some of the top match ups for Thursday, October 18. Note that all information is for games played through Monday, October 15.
Philadelphia Flyers versus Columbus Blue Jackets
The Flyers enter near by bottom of the Metropolitan division, while the Blue Jackets are third. The teams split the four meetings between the teams last season. Columbus holds a +25 to +14 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average” status on the Team Strength Oscillator. Both teams have scored 16 goals in their first five and the Flyers are -4 in goal differential, while the Blue Jackets are -3. In a tightly fought game, the Blue Jackets have to have some advantage at home and should squeak out a win.
Pittsburgh Penguins versus Toronto Maple Leafs
Pittsburgh has their work cut out for them in this one. They are in the middle of the pack in the Metropolitan division. The Maple Leafs have the best record in the NHL and hold a +30 to +13 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. They also have a “burning hot” status versus “average” for the Penguins. Last season, the Maple Leafs dominated the Penguins, taking three of four meetings. Pittsburgh is good enough to make a game of it, but Toronto is too hot at the moment and playing at home. Look for the Maple Leafs to win by two.
Detroit Red Wings versus Tampa Bay Lightning
The Red Wings are off to a terrible start at 0-4-2. They are +2 on the Power Ranking Indicator and “dead” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Tampa Bay is 2-1 to start the season, at +6 and “average” status. The Lightning dominated Detroit last year, winning all four meetings. Detroit has given up a whopping 30 goals, while the Lightning only 7 in their three contests. There is little to indicate the Red Wings have much of a chance in this one. Tampa Bay will win this to keep their hot start going.
Arizona Coyotes versus Chicago Blackhawks
In a game with two teams heading in opposite directions, the Coyotes are second to last in the Pacific, while the Blackhawks are second in the Central. Chicago took two of three between the teams last season and have a +22 to +7 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. Arizona has had extreme difficulties scoring, netting just three goals in four games. Chicago has been averaging over four but also giving up over four per contest. Looking to climb out of the basement, Arizona doesn’t have enough against a more talented Chicago unit. The Blackhawks will win this without too much difficulty.
Boston Bruins versus Edmonton Oilers
Boston comes in second in the Atlantic and the Oilers are tied for last in the Pacific. Not surprisingly, the Bruins have a huge +27 to +2 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average down” status. Edmonton has scored only five goals and are -5 in scoring differential. Boston has scored 22 goals and is +9. Winning two of three last season between the teams, Boston shouldn’t have a problems knocking off Edmonton again.
New York Islanders versus Los Angeles Kings
The Islanders look to stay out of the basement in the Metropolitan, while the Kings are battling in the middle of the pack in the Pacific. New York has a +16 to +10 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator and “average up” versus “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. New York is +1 in scoring differential and Los Angeles has scored only five and allowed 10. The teams split the two meeting last season and unless the Kings suddenly find their offense, the Islanders will take the first meeting this season. New York should win this in a relatively low scoring affair.
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