Christmas is just a week or so away now and glancing at the NHL league table, we can see that the Washington Capitals are now pulling away from the rest of the pack.
We have all the weeks’ action, including matchups for the Capitals, Bruins, Kings, Blues and the Avalanche. The Avalanche will host the Hurricanes at the end of the week, which is sure to be a great game.
Who will take the points this week?
Washington Capitals (1.97) @ Columbus Blue Jackets (3.18)
We have a Metropolitan Division matchup as the Columbus Blue Jackets host the league leaders the Washington Capitals.
The Capitals beat the Lightning in their last game, winning it 5-2. Washington are 24-5-5 for the season outright, beating the closest contenders for the top spot the Boston Bruins midweek.
The Blue Jackets go 12-14-6 for the season overall. Columbus come into this one off back-to-back overtime losses to the Senators and Penguins.
Although the homeside are up against the Capitals, they will come into this one with an air of confidence about themselves, having beaten them 5-2 midweek. Cam Atkinson had a great game in the last, managing to find the net twice.
Take the Capitals to avenge their loss and win here.
Los Angeles Kings (4.10) @ Boston Bruins (1.69)
The Kings remain rock bottom of the Pacific Division, though they did beat the struggling Red Wings 4-2 in their last game.
Los Angeles are led in attack by Anze Kopitar, who has put up 13 goals and 18 assists for the season so far. The Slovenian has performed well, but the same can’t be said for the rest of his team.
Boston have had a terrible week. They lost out to the Sens, Capitals and Lightning. A shocking week by their standards, they’ve allowed the Capitals to increase the gap at the top of the NHL table.
Bruins right-winger David Pastrnak continues to lead the league in goals scored and looks unstoppable on the ice. He’s scored 28 goals and managed 20 assists for the season so far.
The NHL betting odds favour a win for the Bruins and we must agree. It must be said that Columbus will be without Zach Werenski and Emil Bemstrom for the game.
Take the Bruins to win here.
.@pastrnak96 scored twice and the #NHLBruins second line popped in two more to snap the losing skid in the road-trip finale.— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 15, 2019
🎥 Re-live all the highlights from last night's 4-2 victory in Florida: pic.twitter.com/nP5aaytdpI
Edmonton Oilers (3.46) @ St. Louis Blues (1.87)
We have a Central vs Pacific Division matchup for our Wednesday night game between the Oilers and the Blues.
The Blues remain on top of the Central Division, with wins over Knights and Blackhawks in their last two games. They are still led in attack by the Brayden Schenn on 14 goals and 12 assists for the season overall.
Though they’ve been quiet of late, the Oilers leading men still have great numbers for the season. But a lack of consistency for Edmonton means they have now dropped to fourth spot in the Pacific Division.
The Oilers are 18-13-4 for the season overall. Their poor run of form has left them sitting 12th in the NHL power rankings. Edmonton come into this game looking to snap a 4-game losing streak, including losses to the Wild and the Maple Leafs.
Expect the Blues to win in St. Louis.
Carolina Hurricanes @ Colorado Avalanche
We head to the Pepsi Center for the Thursday night matchup, between the Colorado Avalanche and the Carolina Hurricanes.
The visitors will face the Winnipeg Jets before this one, but did manage a shutout victory over the Calgary Flames in their last game - winning 4-0. It was 23-year old Warren Foegele who picked up two goals for Carolina in the last.
The Hurricanes are 20-11-2 overall and third in the Metropolitan Division. It’s the young Finn, Sebastian Aho who still leads them in scoring with 18 goals and 12 assists.
The Avalanche have the most wins in the Central Division and go 21-8-3 overall. The 2019/20 MVP candidate Nathan McKinnon leads the line for Colorado on 20 goals and 30 assists so far.
This is our NHL free pick of the week with two fairly evenly matched teams and a pair of teams in great form of late.
Take the Avalanche to win here.