Another game on the road for the Colorado Avalanche, as they will get back on home ice Wednesday. That will be their first game at Pepsi Center since last Monday. They hope to wrap the road trip up with another win after making easy work of the Devils and Hurricanes in their previous two outings. This is a good Colorado team, with a stacked frontend line featuring Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon.
Landeskog is coming off a 2-goal performance against the Hurricanes to bring his goal total to 7 on the season. He’s also chipped in with 3 assists to lead the Avalanche to a 5-1-1 start. They certainly aren’t a club to take lightly. Now with the Patrick Roy and Matt Duchene drama well behind them, they can focus on winning games on the ice. The locker room was beginning to get toxic with a guy there who didn’t want to be on the team. Duchene got his wish and was sent to Ottawa.
Philipp Grubauer got the start for the Avs in their last outing and he stood tall. The Hurricanes hit him for 43 shots, but allowed just 1 goal in a 3-1 win. It was the third time in four games that the Avalanche have allowed more than 40 shots. The goaltending has been solid for them to open the season, but it’s tough to expect it to hold up without the defence contributing as well.
The Flyers looked sharp against the Devils on Saturday, as they got by them for a final score of 5-2. It was a response after the Blue Jackets beat them, 6-3, in a game prior. The Flyers have a major problem playing defence, though it does lead to some entertaining games. They dearly needed Brian Elliott to step up in net, as he doesn’t have any support behind him with his backup being Calvin Pickard. Get our free Avalanche vs. Flyers pick below.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Philadelphia Flyers Pick
Brian Elliott didn’t see much work against the Devils on Saturday, but he was able to steer away 19 of 21 shots. Getting some help from the defence must have felt like a new concept to Elliott. However, he still must be much better than he’s been up to this point. He’s never really found a groove since leaving the Blues. Once considered one of the top goaltenders in the NHL, his numbers have regressed in Calgary and Philadelphia.
He ended his career in St. Louis with a 2.07 GAA and then after signing in Calgary, he watched his numbers fall to a 2.55 in 2016-17, 2.66 GAA in 2017-18, and now he’s off to a shaky start with a 3.68 GAA. Talk about a quick fall from grace for a guy previously regarded as one of the best in net. As such, it’s been difficult for the Flyers to keep the puck out of their net. They have allowed 4.13 goals per game for 30th in the NHL. The only team worse in that regard is the Red Wings.
The offence has been carrying the load for the Flyers thus far in October. Note that they are scoring 3.63 goals per game to put them in the top-10 in scoring. The OVER in Philly games is 7-1 for a good reason. They are actually tied with the Avalanche in 8th in goals per game. Defensively the Avs have been better, though, with 2.25 goals allowed per game. Varlamov has been strong in net for Colorado, but he likely isn’t going to be able to maintain his 0.948 save percentage.
Like I’ve said previously, any chance to get the OVER at 6 in a game featuring the Flyers is going to be solid value. Whether the Flyers want to go with Elliott or Pickard, they’re going to find it difficult to get into defensive showdowns with the opposition. I side with the Avs here, but the price looks awfully fishy. Instead, the OVER looks like a safer wager on Monday night in Philadelphia.