The Colorado Avalanche have won eight of their last ten games.
The Winnipeg Jets have won three of their last five games.
The Avalanche beat the Jets 4-3 in overtime when they faced each other in October.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
12-6-1 (3rd in Central Division)
13-6-1 (2nd in Central Division)
Mikko Rantanen (29)
Josh Morrissey (23)
Mikko Rantanen (13)
Mark Scheifele (11)
Nathan MacKinnon (22)
Josh Morrissey (19)
Erik Johnson (10)
Josh Morrissey (6)
Nathan MacKinnon (5.37)
Shots (Per Game)
Kyle Connor (3.6)
The Colorado Avalanche will travel north to face the Winnipeg Jets in a divisional battle. There are nine games on slate today, but this might be the evenest matchup. The Avalanche have played 19 games and are sitting in third place in the Central Division with 25 points. The jets are right above them, sitting in second place with 27 points. However, the Jets have played one more game than the Avalanche.
The Avalanche may not be sitting atop their division, but they still have a well-rounded and talented roster. Colorado has one of the best offenses in hockey and averages almost 3.5 goals per game. Defensively, they are also quite solid. The Avalanche allow over 33 shots a game but only 2.47 games. It is worth noting that their early season success has been mostly without Valeri Nichushkin. Nichushkin has been out for almost a month and will continue to miss time after undergoing ankle surgery.
I could highlight many talented Avalanche players, but I will only talk about three: Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, and Cale Makar. All three of these players are the alternate captains on this Avalanche squad and have been setting the tone since the beginning of the season. Mikko Rantanen leads this team in points (29) and goals (13). Rantanen is an efficient shooter and converts on 22% of his shots. Nathan MacKinnon has been much more of a passer this season and leads his team with an absurd 22 assists. MacKinnon is a top-ten center and plays over 22 minutes a game. Cale Makar is the final player (and only defenseman) on this list. Makar is a top-three defenseman and plays 27 minutes a game. His impact on both sides of the puck cannot be underestimated. Makar has 15 assists and four power play goals.
Colorado has excellent wingers, centers, and defensemen, but their goaltenders sometimes do much of the heavy lifting. Alexander Georgiev is the primary netminder, but backup Pavel Francouz could be a starter on many other teams. These goalies only allow 2.47 goals per game and have a combined .928 save percentage.
The Jets, like the Avalanche, have a talented roster. Their offense knows how to score, and their defense holds its own, but they are not entirely on the Avalanche’s level.
Josh Morrissey, Kyle Connor, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Mark Scheifele have been the Jets’ main source of offense this season. Josh Morrissey leads the teams in assists (19) and points (23), Kyle Connor is more of a jack of all trades and has eight goals and 12 assists, Pierre-Luc Dubios is a talented goal-scorer and has put ten pucks in the back of the net, and Mark Scheifele leads the Jets with 11 goals (on 55 shots).
The Jets heavily depend on Connor Hellebuyck in net. Hellebuyck has played in 16 of the Jets' 20 games and has a 10-5-1 record. The American goaltender only allows 2.43 goals per game and has a .925 save percentage (the fourth-lowest in the league).
The teams are evenly matched, but the Avalanche have the edge. They play surprisingly well on the road and have more offensive weapons than the Jets.
The Avalanche are hot right now but will only win if they score first and draw penalties.
The Avalanche are at an inherent disadvantage since they are on the road but can erase much of that disadvantage by scoring the first goal. If they strike first, they will quiet the Winnipeg Jets and swing momentum in their direction.
The Avalanche have the best power play unit in the league and convert over ⅓ of their opportunities. That said, it should be no surprise when I say the Avalanche should focus on drawing penalties.
The Jets are coming off a 7-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks but have a tougher matchup today. They need to set the tone early by playing aggressive hockey and shooting as much as possible.
On paper, the Jets have fewer weapons than the Avalanche, but they can offset that by being aggressive from the get-go. Winnipeg must fight for every puck and lay out big hits every opportunity they get.
The Jets will face one of Colorado’s two impressive goaltenders. They will have difficulty scoring and need to shoot as much as possible to give themselves opportunities.
Josh Manson is a defenseman but coming off a one-goal, one-assist game in their previous matchup. Manson’s performance earned him the second star of the game.
Manson must take his momentum from the last game into this one. If he does, he will be Colorado’s x-factor.
Pierre-Luc Dubois received the third star in Winnipeg's previous game after scoring two goals. This was a strong performance but not a surprising one. Dubois is a goal-scorer and already had eight goals before this game.
Dubois must keep looking for scoring opportunities in this game and take advantage of them.
What - Colorado Avalanche vs Winnipeg Jets
Where - Canada Life Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
When - Tuesday, November 29, 7:00 PM EST
How to Watch - NHLPP, ESPN+
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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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