The Colorado Avalanche will look for a response on Friday night after a forgetful performance at the Staples Center. The Avalanche were there physically, but mentally the LA Kings had the advantage. At least for the first period the Avalanche were in the game mentally. They took a 2-0 lead and then decided to look ahead to the next night against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Kings scored four unanswered goals to take a 4-2 win and drop the Avalanche to 2-2-0 on the season. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen were both aggressive, and rewarded with a goal each. However, the rest of the team failed to help out. MacKinnon and Rantanen had 11 shots between the two of them, while no one else connected for five shots.
The loss for the Avalanche pushed them back to 2-2-0 on the season. And with that, the Avalanche go into Friday night tied for fourth in the West Division. It’s far too early to discuss the standings in much detail. There isn’t an ample sample size at the moment, and things could look a whole lot different in only a week from now.
It’s no surprise that the Vegas Golden Knights are off to a hot start, as they enter Friday unbeaten at 4-0-0 on the season. They look like the class of the West Division, though the Avalanche, Wild, and Blues aren’t going away. Those four teams have a good chance at making up the top-4 by the end of the regular season.
The most disappointing start has to belong to the Arizona Coyotes. They are 1-2-1 with three points through four games. The Coyotes are in a tie with the Ducks for dead last in the West Division. When it comes to the Ducks, it’s hard not to be surprised by their start. They’ve looked good in spots, but bad otherwise. The Ducks continue to retool their roster and look towards the future.
A big yard sale at the trade deadline would likely do them well in the long term. Anaheim is coming off a 3-2 loss against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. It was a couple of competitive games against the Wild, as the Ducks took them to the wire in a 1-0 win and 3-2 loss. All the Ducks can hope for is to be a competitive team and keep the value of their tradebait up. Head below for our free Avalanche vs. Ducks pick on January 22, 2021.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Anaheim Ducks NHL Betting Odds:
Avalanche vs. Ducks Prediction:
The Avalanche finished two points behind the St. Louis Blues for the lead in the Central Division last year. They went 42-20-8 with 92 points, which was obviously a productive regular season for them. However, the bubble didn’t go according to plan, and the Avalanche were bounced against the Dallas Stars. They fought back from a 3-1 hole in that series, and despite getting hit by the injury bug, the Avs nearly pulled it off against a very good Stars team.
The Avalanche are looking ahead to a productive 2020-21 with a healthier squad. They didn’t look like it in Los Angeles last night, but the Avs can be much better than that. The Avalanche let their guard up after jumping out ahead to a 2-0 lead. I suspect we see a much better effort tonight after splitting their two-game series against the Kings. They don’t have to wait very long for their next opportunity, which can be seen as a positive.
Philipp Grubauer is expected to get the starting nod for the Avs in the crease this evening. He’s been sharp through three starts, with a 2.01 GAA and 0.923 save percentage. Grubauer is the clear No. 1 over Hunter Miska, who was pressed into duty last night in LA. Miska allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for a 0.885 save percentage.
Grubauer has been terrific against the Ducks through six games. He owns a 2.12 GAA and should do well versus a lackluster Anaheim offence tonight. The Ducks are 30th in the league with just 1.5 goals scored per game. They were 29th in scoring a season ago, so it has been more of the same in Anaheim for the Ducks. After falling flat last night, expect a better effort from the Avs tonight. At a price of +125, there appears to be value with backing the puckline.