The Colorado Avalanche are hanging on for dear life out in western Canada, as they strive for a playoff seed. The Avalanche currently have about a 50% chance of reaching the playoffs. Near the start of March, the Avs were around a 25% chance so they have been putting in some work lately. They have been looking fairly good on the west coast, beating the Canucks and Flames in their previous two games. Road trips far away from home can be a troublesome period for most teams, even the good teams against inferior competition.
The Avalanche have gone 4-1 in their last five games. It’s something they will need to continue doing to reach the playoffs. They’re probably going to need some help elsewhere as well. Going against them is the fact that Matt Duchene is going to miss a couple weeks or so. Additionally, Nathan Mackinnon is questionable to go Sunday night with a knee injury. The Avs face the Oilers tonight, who would be better served losing and beating the Leafs out in the lottery. The Leafs have been winning lately and the Oilers have won their last two games, so last place is up for the taking.
With a reasonable amount of talent on the Oilers, the roster hasn’t been able to parlay it into success on the ice. Jordan Eberle, Connor McDavid, Taylor Hall. Those are three talented guys playing on the same team. What do they have to show for it? A record of 29-38-5 and 2nd to last in the NHL. Former number 1 pick Nail Yakupov has failed to live up to expectations. He has scored only 6 goals and has 12 assists. Yakupov has entered bust territory. That is a pick which is keeping the Oilers back at the moment. If he produced and lived up to what he was supposed to be in the league, we might be talking about the Oilers in playoff contention. However, the Avalanche are the only team in this game with playoff aspirations. Colorado is trying to reach the postseason after being denied last season. They of course burst onto the season two years ago in Patrick Roy’s first season as head coach. Get the pick below for Sunday night in Edmonton.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers NHL Pick
The Avalanche have been hit by injuries, but thankfully will be set to have Captain Gabriel Landeskog back in the lineup tonight. Landeskog was suspended for 3 games due to a crosscheck. Mikkel Boedker has also been a spark plug for the Avalanche. He scored the shootout winner against the Flames the other night and has compiled a pretty successful campaign with 16 goals and 29 assists. The Avs playoff chances would be extremely bolstered with a healthy group, but they have been getting others to step up and carry the torch. The Avalanche and Oilers have both gone 6-4 in their last ten games.
Calvin Pickard appears to be getting the start for the Avalanche in net tonight. Pickard has done relatively well and posted a 3-2 win against the Oilers earlier this season. This game comes down to a matter of value to me. I don’t feel like the Oilers should be laying -129 against a lot of teams in this league. Especially against one that has been playing good hockey lately and have a lot to play for right now. The injuries to the Avalanche are reflected in the price here. However, Landeskog will be back in the lineup tonight for Colorado. Five defenseman on the Oilers’ lineup are on the injury report. Brandon Davidson and Adam Pardy are the latest casualties. So it isn’t like the Avalanche are the only team with an injury bug to contend with. I need to lean towards the Avs in this spot, who I believe have a better shot of winning this game than what a price of +117 indicates.
PICK: AVALANCHE TO WIN +117