The Colorado Avalanche arrive in Carolina for third game of their four-game road trip against the Hurricanes. Following Saturday, the Avalanche move on to Philadelphia on Monday, and then back home to welcome the Lightning next Wednesday. The Avalanche have split their road trip thus far, with a shootout loss against the Rangers and a 5-3 win over the Devils. They handed the Devils their first loss of the season Thursday.
Armed with their deadly first-line, the Avalanche aren’t going to be a team that goes away quietly in 2018-19. Dealing Matt Duchene to Ottawa has appeared to be addition by subtraction. Duchene didn’t want to be in Denver any longer and his demeanour appeared to pull the rest of the team down with him. Also, Patrick Roy retiring out of the blue, just before the start of a new season didn’t help.
Now that Jared Bednar has had more time to get acclimated and instill his system, the Avs have been much more fluid and comfortable. The Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen line can go toe-to-toe with a lot of other top lines in the league. The question becomes whether the other lines can provide some pop for the Avalanche.
Landeskog netted a hat trick against the Devils, and Rantanen had a goal as well, so they dominated. Sven Andrighetto chipped in for his first goal of the season to help out. The Hurricanes enter with a record of 2-0-1. We’ll see if the Avs can bump them off on Saturday afternoon. Get our free Avalanche vs. Hurricanes pick below.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Carolina Hurricanes Pick
The Hurricanes opened the season with a loss at home against the Islanders in overtime. They were able to pick up a point, though, and have earned a point in each of their three home games thus far. They beat the Rangers, 8-5, and the Canucks by a score of 5-3. So, the Avs will certainly be the best team that they have had to play in Carolina.
The Hurricanes are returning from a three-game road trip, which they came out of stumbling with a loss to the Jets and Lightning. Despite the two losses, their offence hit the net 43 and 40 times. Their last win came on the 13th against the Wild in overtime by a score of 5-4.
Carolina have gotten off to a nice start with 3.57 goals per game. Their goaltending situation leaves something to be desired, though. Petr Mrazek was acquired to be the starter after he spent 5 ½ seasons in Detroit, and half a season in Philadelphia. He’s been inconsistent throughout his career and that’s been the story of his start in Carolina.
Mrazek owns a 3.07 GAA and 0.874 save percentage. The Hurricanes were fortunate to nab McElhinney off waivers from the Maple Leafs, but he isn’t a true starter than can give consistent outings. McElhinney holds a 2.64 GAA and 0.90 save percentage. Carolina have allowed 3.14 goals per game, compared to the 2.43 goals per the Avs have surrendered.
Colorado are scoring 3.71 goals per game thus far this season. With Grubauer in net for the Avalanche, the odds are heavily in the Hurricanes’ favour here. However, things are getting a little bit too pricey. The top-talent for the visitors certainly outweighs the Hurricanes’ roster and I don’t see them as this big of underdogs Saturday. That’s okay with me as it provides much better value on the Avalanche to win in Carolina. Give me the trio of Landeskog, MacKinnon, and Rantanen at +130 this afternoon.