The NHL has a solid night of action on Friday night. Six games are up on the board throughout March 6. One of these games will be between the Colorado Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks. These two teams are currently in playoff positions, which should lead to a solid game on Friday night. The puck will drop for this matchup at around 10:00 PM Eastern time.
Colorado has earned a record of 40-18-8 throughout this season, which has them sitting in second place of the Central Division. The Avalanche are only two points behind the St. Louis Blues for the top spot in the Western Conference. Colorado lost their last game, which ended a seven game winning streak. The Avalanche will look to bounce back with a nice win on Friday night.
The Canucks have posted a record of 34-26-6 to this point in the season. This has placed Vancouver in the top wild card spot. The Canucks are in a tight race for the wild card spots. Two spots are open, and five teams are all within two points for those wild card spots. Vancouver has lost four games in a row and will look to bounce back in a big way on Friday night.
These two teams are in the middle of a tight playoff race. The Avalanche are looking to snag the top spot in the Western Conference, while Vancouver is looking to hold onto their wild card position. Colorado has been able to stay strong despite their injury issues this season, but the Canucks will look to come out strong in this one to try and knock them off.
The Avalanche and the Canucks met up three times throughout last season. The first meeting went to Vancouver 7-6 in overtime. The second meeting was hosted by Colorado, but the Canucks earned another win 5-1 this time around. The final game of the season series stayed in Colorado, where the Avalanche won 3-2 in a shootout.
The first meeting of this season’s series was hosted by Vancouver on November 16. Adam Gaudette scored two goals, while Quinn Hughes and Alexander Edler had two points each. Cale Makar had a big night, putting up four assists. Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and an assist, including the game winner in overtime. Andre Burakovsky added a goal and an assist to help lead the Avalanche to a 5-4 win in overtime.
The Canucks struggled last season, while Colorado went to the playoffs, but Vancouver was still able to win the season series. The Avalanche were able to take the first game of this season’s series. The Canucks have been much better this season, which should lead to an exciting game this time as well. These teams have needed overtime or a shootout in three of their last four games, which should help add to the excitement.
Despite the Avalanche’s success this season, their power play has not been great. Colorado has capitalized on 43 of their 228 chances, which is an 18.9 percent power play. The Avalanche have been much better on the penalty kill though. Colorado’s penalty kill has held opposing teams to 37 goals on 197 power play attempts, which is an 81.2 percent kill rate.
The Canucks power play has done really well throughout this season. Vancouver has been able to pot 56 power play goals on 228 opportunities, which is a 24.6 percent success rate. The Canucks penalty kill has been around the league average. Vancouver has allowed their opponents to score 42 power play goals on 207 chances, which is a 79.7 percent penalty kill.
I believe that Vancouver holds the advantage on special teams in this game. While the Canucks penalty kill hasn’t been great, they should be able to slow down Colorado’s struggling power play. Vancouver’s power play has been doing well and if they can score one or two on the Avalanche’s penalty kill, they should be able to earn a nice win on Friday night.
I expect Pavel Francouz to get the start in net for the Avalanche on Friday night. Francouz has earned a record of 19-5-4 through his games this season. He has posted a save percentage of .927 and a 2.29 GAA throughout this season. Francouz’s last start came against the Anaheim Ducks where he stopped 26 of the 30 shots against him in a tough overtime loss.
Thatcher Demko will likely get the nod in the crease for Vancouver in this matchup. Demko has put up a record of 11-9-2 throughout his 22 starts this season. He has earned a .904 save percentage and a GAA of 3.08. Demko’s last start was against the Arizona Coyotes, where he turned away 36 of the 39 shots he faced in a tough losing effort for the Canucks.
These two goalies have earned respectable numbers throughout this season, but Francouz has been better overall this season. Francouz is coming off a tough start in his last performance, while Demko had a nice performance. If Demko can come back with another start like that one, he could slow down Colorado’s high powered offense, which will give the Canucks a good chance to pull off the upset.
These two teams met in an exciting matchup earlier in the season, which the Avalanche were able to take in overtime. I believe that Vancouver has a good chance to bounce back with a win in this one. The Canucks have the edge on special teams, which could help them a lot. Vancouver is coming in on a four game losing streaks, and all streaks come to an end. This seems like a good game in which that losing streak can wrap up.
BetOnline has Colorado listed as a -125 against the money line on Friday night. This implies that the Avalanche will win this game around 55.6 percent of the time. Colorado is on the road in this game, which gives the Canucks a good chance to earn the win. Vancouver has struggled a bit over their last few games, but I think they will bounce back in this one. As a home underdog, I like the Canucks on Friday night.