Colorado Avalanche vs. Detroit Red Wings Pick
The Avalanche needed a minute to get comfortable with Jared Bednar as their head coach, but in his third year as the bench boss, he has his team buying into his plan. Shedding Matt Duchene was addition by subtraction as well. His attitude wasn’t helping anything and almost instantly the team looked better without Duchene. In Bednar’s first season, the Avalanche went 22-56-4, which was on the heels of Patrick Roy abruptly stepping down.
They turned a corner and went to the playoffs last season, and now in his third season everything has seemed to come full circle. Colorado are 2nd in the Western Conference, with only the Predators ahead of them in the standings. There haven’t been too many noticeable weaknesses with this team. The defence is 9th in the league, so that could improve, but with a top-rated offence, that kind of blue line will more than suffice.
The Avalanche are 2nd in the NHL with 3.73 goals per game. They were knotted with the Lightning for 1st, but that was until the Lightning beat the Panthers, 5-4, last night in Sunrise. In their last ten games, they’ve recorded 4 goals per game. Varlamov has had a solid campaign as well, posting a 2.36 GAA and 0.927 save percentage.
The Avalanche have felt comfortable playing in Detroit, as they look to advance to 5-1 in Detroit in six trips to the Motor City. Look for a letdown from the Wings after knocking off an Original 6 rival last night on the road. They have to come home to try and tame the Avalanche now, which seems like a tough order of business. The Avs are being undervalued with this price here, which makes them a solid selection in the NHL on Sunday.