Golden Knights vs. Avalanche NHL Pick – October 26, 2021

We have a seven-game NHL schedule going tonight and we’ve got some value on the board.

Let’s dive into a Golden Knights vs. Avalanche NHL Pick and see if we can pad those bankrolls!

Golden Knights vs. Avalanche Betting Odds

*Odds courtesy of BetOnline

Teams Moneyline Puck Line Total
Golden Knights +157 +1.5 (-150) Over 6 (-105)
Avalanche -174 -1.5 (+130) Under 6 (-105)

Offense and Defense

Golden Knights

Out of the gate with a 1-4-0 record and four consecutive losses entering this one, not much has gone right for the Golden Knights at either end of the ice.

The offense has averaged just two goals per game, but has scored just four times over their last three games and are coming off a 2-0 shutout loss to the Islanders. In fact, the Knights have dropped three in a row while being outscored 10-4 on their home ice, a rarity for the 2017-18 expansion club.

Now, they did out-shoot the Islanders 42-26 in that shutout loss and have a 124-95 shot advantage over their last three games despite losing all three. They also rank fourth in high-danger chances for/60 and third in expected goals for/60 at 5v5, but the pucks simply have not found the back of the net. Their 2.38 goals/60 at 5v5 this season is well below their 2.84 expected mark.

While the offense has yet to come and the club will need to continue pushing forward without their two best forwards in Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty for the foreseeable future, it’s the back end that’s seen the most surprisingly poor results.

After leading the NHL with just 2.18 goals against per game last season, the Knights sit in a share of 26th with nearly double that number at 3.80 goals against per game. Not only that, but Vegas also ranks dead last in both high-danger chances against/60 and expected goals against/60, an unheard of for a team that’s put together fantastic defensive results and metrics since inception.

In other words, they’ve essentially been the league’s worst 5v5 defense as their 3.33 goals against/60 at 5v5 isn’t outrageously above their 3.08 expected mark, so this is a group that needs to tighten up on the back end in a big way.

Avalanche

It’s been an uneven start to the season for an Avalanche team that many books had as pre-season Cup favorites.

The club has started 2-3-0 on the season and averaged just 2.80 goals per game in that time, good for 19th league wide. After scoring four in an opening-night win against the Blackhawks, the Avs have scored three goals or less in regulation over their last four contests, although they did squeak out a 4-3 shootout win in Tampa Bay their last time out.

The underlying metrics are more or less the same as the Avs rank 14th in the league in both high-danger chances for/60 and expected goals for/60 at 5v5 on the season. In fact, their 2.38 goals/60 at 5v5 this season is nearly identical to their 2.32 expected mark, so the even-strength offense seems to be very much in line with their fate in the early going.

Only the Knights and Islanders allowed fewer goals than the Avalanche did last season with 2.36 against per game, but like Vegas this group has struggled early on, sitting 29th with an even 4.00 goals against per game on the season. That number actually increases to 4.50 goals against per game over their last four as the Blues, Capitals, Panthers and Lightning — four strong offenses — have combined for 18 goals in that time, all in regulation.

Does the analytical community agree with such results? Natural Stat Trick has the Avs ranked 13th in high-danger chances against/60 and 18th in expected goals against/60 at 5v5 action. Perhaps more telling is the fact they’ve yielded 3.44 goals/60 at 5v5 this season, a number miles above their 2.26 expected mark, so there appears to be some issues elsewhere on this group’s back end in the early stages of the season.

Goaltending Notes

Golden Knights

We don’t have a confirmed netminder for the Golden Knights for this one tonight, and at this point in time it appears totally up for guessing as the club plays again tomorrow night, meaning both Robin Lehner and Laurent Brossoit should see a start apiece over the next 24 hours.

If it’s Lehner, he’ll carry a 3.28 GAA and .904 Sv% into this one after starting all five of the team’s games so far. Lehner has saved -0.90 goals above average so far, so he too hasn’t been at his best despite playing behind statistically the worst 5v5 defense in the league to this point. Given his body of work, one would think he’s going to rebound moving forward but he’ll need some help from that back end.

If it’s Brossoit, it would mark his first start of the young season on the heels of a quality year with the Jets that saw him work to a 2.42 GAA and .918 Sv% in 14 appearances as Connor Hellebuyck’s backup. He’s appeared in one game so far this season, allowing two goals on 16 shots (.875 Sv%) in relief of Lehner as part of a 6-2 loss to the Kings in the team’s second game of the season.

He’s had his ups and downs as a backup in his NHL career, overall turning in a 2.84 GAA and .908 Sv% across 83 career regular-season appearances.

Avalanche

Pavel Francouz is once again on the shelf for the Avs, meaning we should expect a heavy dose of Darcy Kuemper, the team’s prized offseason acquisition in a trade from the Coyotes with Philipp Grubauer departing in free agency.

One of the better goaltenders in the league over the last few seasons when healthy, his Avs tenure is off to a rocky start with a 3.51 GAA and .894 Sv% in four starts. He has saved -2.1 goals above average, so we can see the discrepancy between the team’s actual goals allowed and expected goals allowed at even-strength this season.

After getting blasted by the Blues and Capitals, Kuemper got a game off followed by a 29-save outing on 32 shots (.906 Sv%) while earning the win over the Lightning, so perhaps it’s something to build on for the veteran tonight.

Special Teams

Golden Knights

Despite finishing as one of the better offenses in the NHL a season ago, the Golden Knights actually ranked 22nd with a subpar 17.8% clip on the power play. The early-season results this season have been outright disastrous.

They aren’t drawing a lot of penalties to begin with, but the Golden Knights are yet to score on the man advantage this season across 11 chances in five games. Generating more opportunities would help, but that’s a horrendous start and no doubt missing Stone and Pacioretty from that top unit is not helping the cause.

The penalty kill has also been a weak spot so far, but not the team’s biggest concern at the moment. They’ve gone 10 for 13 (76.9%) on the season, allowing those three power-play goals in two of their five games so far. Remember, this was the NHL’s best penalty kill from last season at 86.8%, and it’s a group that’s missing a reliable top-four defender in Alec Martinez at the moment with an undisclosed ailment.

Certainly the special teams are not helping in the early going.

Avalanche

The league’s eighth-ranked power play from last season has also been quiet so far this season as the Avs have managed just two power-play goals on 20 opportunities, good for an ugly 10% clip that sits in 30th spot league wide with only the Montreal Canadiens (8.7%) sandwiched between these two teams in that department at the moment.

Nathan MacKinnon missed the first two games of the season when the team went 0 for 7 on the man advantage, so perhaps 2 for 13 (15.4%) is an improvement over the last three games, but it would be awfully surprising if this loaded group stayed quiet much longer.

The penalty kill has been decent for this club as the Avs have surrendered a power-play goal in three of their five games so far, going 13 for 16 (81.3%) on the season. That would have ranked just outside the top 10 last season, so the kill has been the least of the team’s worries in an inauspicious start to the season.

Betting Trends

Golden Knights

  • Golden Knights are 2-8 in their last 10 road games
  • Golden Knights are 1-6 in their last seven vs. the Western Conference
  • Under is 5-1 in the Golden Knights’ last six games as an underdog
  • Under is 3-1-5 in the Golden Knights last nine vs. a team with a losing record

Avalanche

  • Avalanche are 37-14 in their last 51 games as a favorite
  • Avalanche are 39-15 over their last 54 games as a home favorite
  • Over is 10-1-1 in the Avalanche last 12 vs. the Western Conference
  • Over is 4-1-1 in the Avalanche last six games overall

Head to Head

  • Golden Knights are 4-0 in the last four meetings
  • Home team is 5-1 in the last six meetings
  • Favorite is 6-2 in the last eight meetings
  • Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in Colorado

Golden Knights vs. Avalanche NHL Pick

A couple of teams we don’t expect to scuffle much longer meet tonight in Colorado, but this is a game the Avalanche should absolutely be winning against a banged-up Golden Knights lineup without its top two forwards and a top-four defender.

There hasn’t been a ton to like about either club in the early going, but the Knights have essentially been the worst defense in the NHL this season and when you add in a subpar penalty kill, it’s a dangerous outlook against this high-octane Avalanche offense.

For me, I like the Avs, but I’ll grab them on the 3-way moneyline and look for a win in regulation time.

The Bet
AVALANCHE -0.5 IN REGULATION
-130
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Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.

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