Arizona Coyotes at Colorado Avalanche

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Colorado Avalanche have reminded us once again that they are one of the top teams in the West Division and the NHL as they easily defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-2 in their recent game for their 22nd victory on the season. The Avalanche will now host the Arizona Coyotes who have struggled this season but are still in the hunt for the final spot in the West Division playoffs. With both teams hoping to continue to gain ground in the division, the upcoming matchup should be a great one, to say the least.

Coyotes offense has struggled this season

The Arizona Coyotes have won 16 of their 35 games this season for the 5th best record in the West Division. The main reason for the team’s struggles this season has been their offense, which is only scoring 2.5 goals per game and is starting to deal with some key injuries. Phil Kessel has scored 14 goals this season and the duo of Clayton Keller and Christian Dvorak have scored 11 goals each but the team will have to replace 9 goals from defenseman Jakob Chychrun who has missed the recent games to injury.

Speaking of Chychrun, he also led a defense that was allowing only 2.8 goals per game and leading the Coyotes as a result. Jakob Chychrun and Alex Goligoski have combined for 4.4 defensive point shares while also blocking 130 shots while Jordan Oesterle is adding 1.4 defensive point shares as well. The Coyotes will hope the defense steps up with both Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta being questionable for the upcoming game with injuries, a big loss for a team that is getting a .910 save percentage from both goaltenders.

Avalanche have won 9 of the last 11 games

The Colorado Avalanche have won 9 of the last 11 games to give the team 22 wins on the season and the 2nd best record in the West Division. The team has played great across the board but the offense has led the way, scoring 3.4 goals per game with 6 skaters scoring 10 goals or more this season. Mikko Rantanen has a team-leading 20 goals but Gabriel Landeskog and Joonas Donskio have 12 goals each along with Nathan MacKinnon who has 10 goals and 28 assists and is a highlight waiting to happen.

While the offense has led the way, the defense has been one of the best in the game as the Avalanche only allows 2.2 goals per game. The 22-year-old duo of Samuel Girard and Cale Makar have proven to be two of the best young defensemen in the game as they have combined for 4.9 defensive point shares while also combining for 8 goals and 40 assists on the offensive end. In addition, the pairing of Devon Toews and Ryan Graves have combined for 4.9 defensive point shares and 115 blocked shots to help out starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer who is saving .929 percent of shots while also allowing only 1.7 goals per game.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

The Avalanche are poised to break out of their winning streak and drop a game and the Coyotes have great odds as an underdog. However, it’s hard seeing the Avalanche dropping a game anytime soon and especially against a Coyotes team that they outmatch in every facet of the game. The Avalanche should be able to pile on the goals whether they come from the top line with Nathan MacKinnon constantly creating with the help of Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog or from the point with defenseman Devon Toews or Cale Makar hitting a shot from the point. Speaking of Makar and Toews, the two should help eliminate the Coyotes offense along with a deep defensive unit that is playing great in recent games. The Avalanche should not only continue their winning ways, but they should also be able to cover the spread against the Coyotes.

Avalanche -1.5 (-109)

Want another opinion on this pick?


Full-Game Total Pick

The two teams have great defenses that are able to limit any offense. The important thing to note for this game is the status of Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun who is unlikely to play in the upcoming game. With this in mind, the Avalanche should have a field day on the offensive end and be able to pile on the goals with their top line continuing to play great. Likewise, the Coyotes should be able to find the back of the net once or twice in this game to help keep the game a high-scoring one. Expect the Over to cover with both offenses constantly finding goal-scoring opportunities.

Over 5.5