It will be interesting to see how coach Rick Tocchet’s Arizona Coyotes respond to his harsh words following their Game 1 loss to the Avalanche.
After getting thoroughly outplayed, and mounting very little pushback, the ‘Yotes now find themselves down 1-0 in the series.
Game 1 was total domination for a powerful Colorado squad. They basically tripled Arizona in shots and chances generated, and when the game was within reach – the Coyotes had no answers for the speed and skill of the Avs’ top talents.
Tocchet was brutally honest in the post-game, but whether or not this boils down to a ‘work effort’ issue or a talent issue, remains to be seen. Arizona pulled a big upset in the play-in round defeating Nashville, but Colorado represents an even bigger step-up in class. The Avs seemingly have no holes right now, and limited Arizona to a putrid 0.84 expected goals over 60 minutes of Game 1 action.
Can the Coyotes somehow muster some offense against this stifling Avs’ squad? Or will Colorado continue their cruise into the semis. Game 2 will certainly be a big one for the future of this series, so keep reading on beneath the odds for a team preview and betting prediction for Colorado vs. Arizona.
Coyotes vs. Avalanche Betting Odds:
Arizona Coyotes (+170)
Colorado Avalanche (-200)
Over 5.5 (+112)
Under 5.5 (-126)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Coyotes vs. Avalanche Pick:
Though the Avs only won Game 1 by 3 goals, the truth is that it could have easily been a six-goal margin.
They completely dominated every aspect of the series opener, and if it weren’t for Arizona netminder Darcy Kuemper, the scoreboard would have been pretty embarrassing.
It is hard to envision the Avs being stymied again for that long. Colorado did everything right, and Kuemper is a good goalie, but performances like that shouldn’t happen over and over again to skilled shooting squads like the Avalanche.
While Arizona will try to make adjustments and slow down Colorado’s top scorers like Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, they simply don’t have the pieces and can’t control the matchups until they are listed as the home side. Arizona also has a nice defense corps, but they aren’t the most fleet of foot – a bad matchup as the Avs’ offense boasts a ton of speed.
With the Avs’ impressive depth, there just isn’t any reprieve for an overmatched Arizona side. If it’s not MacKinnon coming at you, it’s going to be Kadri and Landeskog, and once that duo chances, it’s Donskoi and Burakovsky. GM Joe Sakic has done an unbelievable job putting together this crew, and the pace at which they play is scary for the opposition.
While Game 2’s line has suddenly skyrocketed, and with good reason, -200 remains a little rich on the moneyline. Instead, I’m looking to back more goals in Game 2 of this series. Colorado can and should score more on Kuemper, especially given the rates in which they generated scoring chances in the series opener. Meanwhile, expect Tocchet to shake things up a bit for the Coyotes, and focus on taking more chances and making Colorado defend.
We saw a similar dynamic in the Blackhawks/Knights Game 2 yesterday, and that trend should repeat on Friday. If Arizona are to be successful in this series, they need to mount more of an offensive push. When and if that takes away from their defense, so be it – but this is a Coyotes’ team with some scoring talent of their own within their top-6 and expect them to really test Phillip Grubauer in Game 2.
While the moneyline prices currently remain out of range on both sides, the value for the second game is firmly on goals. At a juiced-up over 5.5, back a high-scoring thriller in crucial Game 2 action between the Avs and Coyotes.
Pick: Colorado 4-3