Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Colorado Avalanche won their recent game against the San Jose Sharks but it came at a cost. Their star player, arguably one of the best in the NHL, Nathan MacKinnon, got hit hard and his status is uncertain for the next game. The Ducks will hope to take advantage if MacKinnon is absent from the game as they need a win more badly than ever before (the last game the Ducks won was February 11th).

Ducks losing streak hits 8 games

After losing back-to-back games against the Blues, the Ducks losing streak is now 8 games and they have looked like one of the worst teams in the NHL in the process. The offense has been particularly terrible this season and during the slump as the Ducks are only scoring 2 goals per game and aside from Max Comtois, nobody has more than 6 goals.

While the offense has been the downfall, the defense has done its best to keep the team in games, allowing only 2.9 goals per game. The Ducks have two strong pairs on the defensive side with Jani Hakanpaa and Cam Fowler leading the top pairing while Hampus Lindholm and Kevin Shattenkirk lead the second pairing. Both duos combine for more than 2 defensive point shares and 45 blocked shots. In addition, starting goaltender John Gibson has done a respectable job in the net as he has only allowed 2.7 goals per game this season and has a save percentage greater than .900.

Avalanche hope to continue to find offense

If Nathan MacKinnon can’t play in the game against the Ducks, the Avalanche are going to have to replace their top scorer and one of the game’s best players. MacKinnon leads the offense’s top line and has 17 assists on the season on a top line with Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog, who have scored 16 goals combined this season. The offense still has enough scorers to still put together a potent offense with Nazem Kadri, Joonas Donskoi, and Brandon Saad all scoring 6 goals this season as part of an offense that is scoring 3 goals per game.

The Avalanche have been able to play great on the defensive end as well despite missing Cale Makar for a few games this season. Cale Makar is one of the best young defensemen in the NHL and he and Samuel Girard make a strong pair of 22-year-old defensemen who’ve combined for 3 defensive point shares this season. Along with the young pairing, the Avalanche are finding production from their offseason acquisition Devon Toews who has 35 blocked shots this season. In addition, the starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer is having a career year as he is only allowing only 2 goals per game.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

The Ducks are poised to end their losing streak at some point and snap out of this slump. The problem is that the Ducks just look like a terrible team at the moment and it’s hard to see them even playing a competitive game against the Avalanche. Even if the Avalanche doesn’t have Nathan MacKinnon, the offense is still deep and potent to be able to find the back of the net a few times in this game despite the Ducks playing well on the defensive side. Moreover, the Ducks will potentially get a shutout against the Avalanche with their offense looking awful and the Avalanche defense continuing to play well this season. The Avalanche should win this game and cover the spread in the process as they should remind us that they are one of the top teams in the NHL.

Avalanche -1.5 (+103)

Want another opinion on this pick?


Full-Game Total Pick

The Ducks and Avalanche have struggled on the offensive side in recent games. The Avalanche have the offense to pile on the goals in this game but the Ducks should be able to halt them with their defense being the one bright spot in this lost season. Likewise, the Avalanche should blank the Ducks in this game potentially holding them scoreless as their defense continues to impress. Expect the Under to cover in this game with both defenses playing well as of late.

Under 5.5