The Avalanche haven’t been near their best in the last four games, but we’re certainly in the heat wave days of the regular season for a Colorado group up a million points in Central and waiting for the playoffs. The Avs will look to bounce back against the metro-leading Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
Defensive play has been soft and nonchalant at times on this small sample for Colorado, but the available roster is still the best in the league and the Avs are still rightfully the absolute Stanley Cup favorite, and the pace at which that team can play. with so much attacking talent at both forward and back is simply unmanageable when true to form.
And that said, I like this as a place for us to see Colorado play closer to their prime in a big tune-up contest against another of the real League Cup contenders in Carolina, which I think regular readers know that I respect.
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At even strength, I still think the Avalanche have a big advantage in their ability to generate offense, and it seems more likely that the two conceivable advantages Carolina has over the Avs being a historically strong penalty kill unit and an incredible game from Frederik Andersen are less durable than the Avs’ ridiculous attacking advantage.
With the game opener this close to a pick-em, I think we have value backing Colorado’s current -115 line, and would bet the Avs at -130. If Andersen does eventually sit down again, we’ll definitely gain a lot of value after locking down -115 early, but if Andersen plays, we still won’t see any better by the face-off anyway.
The game: Avalanche -115, (Play to -130).
New York Post