It’s been a few days since the release of my last free NHL pick but unfortunately that one landed in the wrong column.
I had the Maple Leafs on the puckline at +105 odds, but suffered a similar fate as I did earlier in the week with the same pick.
While the pick look good throughout the first 40 minutes and the Maple Leafs took a 3-1 lead, it was all downhill from there.
The Ducks rallied to tie it 3-3, then the Maple Leafs made it 4-3, but the Ducks once again rallied to tie the game at fours. This one needed overtime, so our pick was dead in the water, where the Maple Leafs scored and avoided another disaster with a 5-4 win.
It was a disappointing result, especially since the Ducks were playing their second game in as many nights.
Nonetheless, let’s turn the page and get back on the right track on tonight’s big 11-game schedule!
Season Record: 92-80-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Senators vs. Avalanche from the Pepsi Center in Colorado!
Senators vs. Avalanche Betting Odds
- Senators (+231)
- Avalanche (-260)
- Senators +1.5 (-110)
- Avalanche -1.5 (-110)
- Over 6.5 (-105)
- Under 6.5 (-105)
Senators vs. Avalanche NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these teams before I get into my final pick!
The Senators have shown plenty of fight this season in an underdog situation just about every night, but while the results did come a little bit early on, this team has seen few results of late.
In fact, Ottawa has dropped 15 of their last 17 games and most recently took a 5-2 licking at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday afternoon in Winnipeg.
Prior to that one, the Sens took a 4-1 loss to this Avalanche team on home ice and where outshot 34-26 in the process.
While they’ve given up some goals, their offense has been the main issue at the moment and has not been good whatsoever on the road this season where the Senators are just 6-16-5.
Their 2.33 goals per game on the road this season ranks them 29th in the league while their road power play sits 30th with a 12.8% clip.
That said, their power play was actually real good despite all the losses of late, at least until their last two games.
The Sens clicked at a big-time 40.9% clip on the man advantage over a seven-game stretch before going 0 for 5 over their last two games.
That said, their penalty killing has been getting clobbered of late along with their defense on the whole.
The Senators enter this one ranked 30th with 3.70 goals against per game on the road where their penalty killing sits 27th with a 74.4% mark.
Furthermore, that penalty kill has been getting crushed of late, turning in a 67.9% mark over their last seven games. They’ve also gone 1 for 5 on the penalty kill over their last two games and just 5 for 11 over their last four. Yikes.
The seven strength possession numbers aren’t any prettier.
At 5v5 on the road, the Senators rank 27th with a 46.64% Corsi For%, 24th with a 46.25% Scoring Chances For% and 19th with a 46.65% High-Danger Chances For%.
They’ve made things difficult on their netminders to put it nicely, and we’re not quite sure who will be faced with the task of stopping this high-powered Avalanche offense.
It could be Marcus Hogberg who has posted a 2.98 GAA and .910 Sv% in 16 games on the season (13 starts), and a 2.94 GAA and .902 Sv% in seven road appearances (four starts).
It could also be Craig Anderson who owns a 3.27 GAA and .899 Sv% on the season and a 3.57 GAA and .889 Sv% in 15 road appearances (14 starts).
Anderson was lit up for four goals on 22 shots (.818 Sv%) in Ottawa’s loss to the Jets on Saturday, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see head coach D.J. Smith go back to Hogberg for this one tonight.
The Avs enter this matchup tonight as one of the hottest teams in the league having won four in a row and seven of their last eight.
The just completed a five-game road trip that saw them lose the opener but the team replied with four wins in a row to cap a successful trip.
Now they’ll return home where they’ve gone 14-7-4 on the season and have dominated at the offensive end.
The Avs enter this one ranked second with 3.92 goals per game at the Pepsi Center this season and they sit 13th with a 22.4% clip on the power play at home.
It’s been the defensive end where their home struggles have come this season.
Colorado sits 22nd with 3.16 goals against per game on home ice this season and tied for 21st with a 79.2% mark on the penalty kill at home.
Despite a power play that’s scored a goal in four of their last six, the penalty kill struggled at the end of the road trip, going just 6 for 9 over their final two games. They were 2 for 2 in Ottawa, however, while capitalizing on their lone power play opportunity in that time as well.
Possession-wise, they own a huge advantage in this matchup.
At 5v5 at home, the Avalanche rank ninth with a 53.07% Corsi For%, sixth with a 55.16% Scoring Chances For% and eighth with a 55.36% High-Danger Chances For%. Not even close, really.
Getting the nod in goal tonight will be Philipp Grubauer who was excellent on the recently-completed road trip.
Grubauer started the trip by allowing five goals in Philadelphia, but allowed just one goal in each of his three starts afterwards, going 3-0-0 with a .963 Sv% in that time.
Grubauer’s splits favor the road as a result, but he hasn’t been horrible at home either with a 2.87 GAA and .906 Sv% in 15 outings at the Pepsi Center on the campaign.
When this Avalanche team is rolling, they’re one of the very best teams in the NHL. They played some uneven hockey for a couple of months, but have really found their groove of late.
They’ll be missing a key offensive piece in Nazem Kadri for at least a couple weeks moving forward, but this team is a dominant offensive club and if they can win the shot attempt and scoring chance share as per the advanced metrics above, this Senators road defense is going to have a real tough time keeping the puck out of their own net.
On the flip side, while they haven’t been the best home defense around, they’ll be deploying a red-hot goaltender in this one and one that we saw go lights-out down the stretch at a similar time last season.
Of course I’d like to get better odds, but we hit on a puckline win with the Avalanche in Ottawa last week and I am fully willing to go right after that same pick here, this time at -103 odds.