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Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook
8-5-1 (3th in Central Division)
10-5-1 (3rd in Metropolitan Division)
Mikko Rantanen (25)
Martin Necas (19)
Mikko Rantanen (11)
Andrei Svechnikov (12)
Nathan MacKinnon (20)
Martin Necas (12)
Nathan MacKinnon (10)
Brady Skjei (12)
Nathan MacKinnon (5.07)
Shots (Per Game)
Brett Burns (3.94)
The Colorado Avalanche will travel to the East Coast to face the Carolina Hurricanes. There are 13 games on slate today, but this is the game of the day. Both teams are having strong seasons, and I would not be surprised to see these teams face each other in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Avalanche lost their last game against the St. Louis Blues but were on a four-game winning streak before that. Colorado has many offensive weapons and averages over 3.5 goals per game. In addition to their offense, they have a strong defense and allow less than 2.8 goals per game.
The Avalanche have many talented players and one of the best offenses in the league. Their offense is so impressive due to Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, and Cale Makar. Mikko Rantanen is the premier goal-scorer on this Avalanche squad and leads the team with 11 goals. He often shares the ice with Nathan MacKinnon. MacKinnon has not scored much this season but has an insane 20 assists. Colorado depends on him heavily, as he plays over 22 minutes a game.
Cale Makar is the final player on this list. Makar is a defenseman but is a huge source of offense. His 15 assists are the second-most on the team. I would be remiss if I did not talk about Valeri Nichushkin as well. Nichushkin was off to a hot start but has been sidelined for the last few weeks after ankle surgery. The Avalanche will vastly improve when he returns.
The Avalanche have handed the goaltender reigns to Alexander Georgiev. Georgiev is in his first season as a member of the Avalanche and already making a huge impact. He has appeared in ten of Colorado’s 14 games and has a .924 save percentage.
The Hurricanes are playing similarly to the Avalanche. Their offense is not as strong as Colorado’s but knows how to score. Defensively, they allow less than 2.7 goals per game and only 26.4 shots.
The Hurricanes have three playmakers in Martin Necas, Andrei Svechnikov, and Sebastian Aho. Martin Necas has gone without a point in the last two games but leads the Hurricanes with 19. Andrei Svechnikov has scored four goals in the last three games and leads the team with 12. Sebastian Aho only has two assists in the previous five games but is having a strong season overall. The center has seven goals and ten assists on the season.
Frederik Andersen is the Hurricanes' primary goaltender when healthy. However, he currently has a lower-body injury and will likely be out for quite a while. Antti Raanta will take over most of his duties in his absence. Raanta was excellent in last year’s Playoffs and has been solid this season. The veteran goalie only allows 2.47 goals per game and a .911 save percentage.
The Hurricanes have a home-ice advantage and more offensive pieces, so they will win this battle.
The Colorado Avalanche are on the road and facing a tough Hurricanes squad but can win if they draw penalties and take Andrei Svechnikov out of the picture.
The Avalanche have the top power-play unit in the league and convert almost 37% of the time. This unit must get on the ice at least three times today.
Andrei Svechnikov is a talented goal-scorer. He scores often and is very efficient. Svechnikov is successful on over 23% of his shots, which is why the Avalanche need to slow him down.
The Hurricanes are the favorites but will only win if they score first and limit the Avalanche’s shots.
The Hurricanes are playing at home and will get the home crowd on their side by scoring first. In addition, the team that scores first often wins.
The Avalanche have a balanced scoring attack and shoot 33.7 times per game. This results in them having a top-five offense. The Hurricanes have to limit Colorado’s shots in order to limit their offensive production.
Mikko Rantanen has been the most productive player on the Avalanche this season. The winger has a six-game point streak and had one goal and assist in the Avalanche’s previous game.
Rantanen does not need to change his game. Colorado will be in good shape if he continues playing the way he has over the last six games.
Sebastian Aho is an elite hockey player but having a tough go of it in the last five games. Aho only has two assists in this period and has gone scoreless on 13 shots. The 25-year-old sensation needs to return to form and be a menace on the ice. If he plays up to his ability, Carolina will emerge victorious.
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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