Avalanche vs. Coyotes NHL Pick – March 23, 2021

It’s a five-game NHL schedule going tonight, but before we get to this Avalanche vs. Coyotes NHL pick, it’s worth noting how our hot streak ended last week.

We had the Rangers on the moneyline at +120 in Washington, and with New York holding a 1-0 third-period lead while dominating the shot count, things were looking good. That was before Alex Ovechkin buried two late third-period markers and single-handedly carried his team to victory despite the Rangers out-shooting the home favorites by a 33-18 count in that one.

Despite the loss, we’re still 9-2 over our last 11 picks as we check in on this Avalanche vs. Coyotes NHL pick from Arizona!

  • Season Record: 27-25
  • Units: +1.50

Avalanche vs. Coyotes Betting Odds

  • Avalanche (-244)
  • Coyotes (+217)
  • Avalanche -1.5 (+110)
  • Coyotes +1.5 (-130)
  • Over 5.5 (-101)
  • Under 5.5 (-109)

Avalanche vs. Coyotes NHL Pick

Avalanche

Offense

I’m not sure we’ve seen an offense as hot as these Avs are at the moment.

After hanging five on the Coyotes last night, the Avs have now averaged a cool 6.00 goals per game over their last four while also averaging 4.57 goals per game across their current seven game win streak while also averaging 43 shots on goal per game during that stretch.

All the sudden, the Avs have surged to third with 3.40 goals per game on the season while their 35.2 shots per game puts them at the top of the league in that department.

Of course, the scorching-hot stretch is on another planet, but the overall numbers look more like what we expected from this team this season, but after a slow start (by their standards) their firepower was put into question. It’s fair to say the questions have evaporated in a hurry while the underlying metrics are there to back up their work.

At 5v5 this season, the Avalanche rank first in scoring chances for/60, eighth in high-danger chances for/60 and first once again in expected goals for/60, according to Natural Stat Trick. Their 2.74 goals/60 at 5v5 this season is a little above their 2.52 expected mark, so don’t be surprised to see this offense continue to score goals with the best of em’ moving forward, and perhaps expect more from a power play that is tied for 13th with a 23.4% clip so far this season.

With a full complement of forwards at the moment, this Avalanche offense has been unstoppable of late.

Defense

Not only has the offense been flat-out dominant, the defense has been impenetrable over the course of their winning streak.

Over their seven consecutive victories, the Avalanche have allowed a grand total of eight goals against (1.14 per game) while allowing only 22.7 shots per game during that same stretch.

What’s more is that their elite surface numbers are more than supported by the underlying metrics.

Overall, the Avs are tied for second with 2.20 goals against per game on the season while their 86.8% mark on the penalty kill ranks third despite allowing a power play goal on two opportunities in last night’s contest with Arizona.

At 5v5, the Avs’ defense ranks first in scoring chances against/60, sixth in high-danger chances against/60 and first once again in expected goals against/60 while their 1.94 goals against/60 at 5v5 this season is actually above their 1.75 expected mark. Add in the elite penalty kill and we’re certainly dealing with a top-three defensive team — at least — here in 2021.

Goaltending

Philipp Grubauer furthered his name in the Vezina Trophy conversation last night by turning aside 24 of the 25 shots he faced for yet another win, meaning it will be anyone but him going in the rematch tonight.

Currently the backup on the active roster, look for Jonas Johansson to get the nod tonight after Hunter Miska failed to make a mark in his five appearances as the backup with the true backup Pavel Francouz on Injured Reserve at the moment.

Johansson was acquired in a trade with the Sabres a couple of days ago, but he too hasn’t exactly impressed in his NHL work to date.

This season, Johansson owns a 3.79 GAA and .884 Sv% across six starts and seven appearances with the Sabres this season while he’s posted a 3.40 GAA and .888 Sv% across 11 starts and 13 appearances for his brief NHL career to date.

He wasn’t nearly as bad in his AHL work from last season when he posted a real nice 2.28 GAA and .921 Sv% across 22 games with AHL Rochester last season, but he’s clearly been overmatched at the NHL level to this point.

Whether the Avs can insulate him enough to keep their elite defensive number from the last several games intact remains to be seen, but that work would appear to be in jeopardy tonight.

Coyotes

Offense

If the Coyotes are going to dig out of the hole they are in in terms of the playoff race, their offense is going to have to figure it out in a hurry.

The ‘Yotes have struggled mightily to score of late, scoring just 10 goals over their last five games with half of those coming in a 5-1 win over the Ducks on Saturday. Otherwise, they have five goals in six games, losing six of their last seven in the process. They have also struggled to even get pucks on goal over their last eight games, averaging just 23 shots on goal per game during that stretch.

Overall, the Coyotes have sank to 27th with just 2.38 goals per game on the season and sit dead last with 25.6 shots per game on the season as well. Their underlying metrics were in top-10 range earlier in the year, but those have taken a dive of late as well.

At 5v5, the Coyotes rank 25th in scoring chances for/60, 14th in high-danger chances for/60 and 19th in expected goals for/60. Their 1.96 goals/60 at 5v5 this season isn’t too far below their 2.11 expected mark, so vast improvement shouldn’t exactly be expected, although it’s hard to envision even this offense scoring just 1.43 goals per game moving forward for much longer.

Defense

After finishing fourth in overall defense over the last two seasons combined, the Coyotes’ back end has taken a turn for the worse here in 2021.

Overall, the Coyotes are tied with the Calgary Flames for 18th with 2.97 goals against per game on the season, and that’s despite sitting seventh with an 84.3% penalty killing rate on the campaign. As a result, it isn’t difficult to venture a guess and say their 5v5 defense has scuffled here this season and the metrics confirm that for us.

At 5v5 on the season, the Coyotes rank 26th in scoring chances against/60, 25th in high-danger chances against/60 and 26th again in terms of expected goals against/60. Their 2.44 actual goals against/60 at 5v5 this season is right in line with their 2.39 expected mark, so we know this back end has struggled in even-strength situations this season.

It’s a back end that’s healthy and largely resembles the same group that they’ve used over the last couple of seasons, but for whatever reason the results have been quite different this time around.

They’ve allowed 3.33 goals per game over their last six, so we’ll see if this back end can prevent this white-hot Avalanche offense from getting to them again tonight.

Goaltending

With Darcy Kuemper on the shelf with a lower-body injury and Antti Raanta taking the loss in last night’s contest, expect Adin Hill to get the nod in this one tonight, although that’s not confirmed at the time of this writing.

Hill has made four starts and five NHL appearances this season, working to a 2.78 GAA and .908 Sv% in that time. His work from this season is nearly identical to his work for his NHL career to this point as Hill is the owner of a 2.81 GAA and .907 Sv% for his career across 35 NHL appearances so far.

He also struggled in two AHL starts this season, posting a 4.13 GAA and .864 Sv% in those two games, so Hill hasn’t exactly been on his game this season on the whole while he’s allowed exactly three goals in each of his four starts this season.

Avalanche vs. Coyotes NHL Pick

The Avs look simply unstoppable on offense at the moment, and while we’re not going to expect them to score quite at the same rate they have of late, we knew this offense would be one of the very best groups in the NHL this season.

On the flip side, while we knew the Coyotes would likely struggle to score consistently again this season, it’s simply hard to fathom them scoring at the rate they’ve done so in six of their last seven games, averaging a hair more than one goal per game in that time.

The penalty kills are both top-seven groups here, but the goaltending situation is questionable at best here. Johansson has struggled mightily both this season and overall in his brief NHL career while Hill has been average-at-best in his NHL career and takes on the most feared offense in the NHL here.

We have a 5.5 total which is ideal, and that line has gone from +110 early in the day to the -101 mark we see now. We’ll follow that money and head for the Over 5.5 tonight in the rematch from Arizona.

The Bet
OVER 5.5
-101
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Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.