Another new season of the NHL is upon us for Wednesday evening, and the league resumes with five fascinating contests.
Perhaps most intriguing is the showdown between two Stanley Cup contenders, the St. Louis Blues and the Colorado Avalanche.
St. Louis encountered a poor restart last year in the bubble, months after winning the title. They’ve made some big changes in the off-season and let go of former captain Alex Pietrangelo, and it remains to be seen if such turnover will result in renewed success.
For the Avalanche, they enter as one of the favourites to lift hockey’s holy grail come the summertime. GM Joe Sakic has assembled a complete roster, devoid of any glaring holes. They possess elite talent in Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, excellent depth, and additions on the back-end of Devon Toews and likely Bowen Byram in the near future, should only bolster what is likely the NHL’s top roster.
In goal, the expected matchup is likely to be Philip Grubauer for Colorado, while Jordan Binnington will be between the pipes for St. Louis.
Following disappointment last season from both groups on how their respective seasons finished – look for both St. Louis and Colorado to seek to begin the 2021 campaign with hot starts in this condensed season. Expect a tone-setting type of game from both squads, and that should certainly get the excitement going for another season of pucks! Continue reading on beneath the posted odds for further details and team news, as well as our betting prediction for Opening Night between Colorado and St. Louis.
St. Louis Blues vs. Colorado Avalanche Betting Odds:
St. Louis Blues (+125)
Colorado Avalanche (-145)
St. Louis Blues +1.5 (-220)
Colorado Avalanche -1.5 (+190)
Over 5.5 (-125)
Under 5.5 (+105)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
St. Louis Blues vs. Colorado Avalanche Pick:
Life without former longtime team captain Alex Pietrangelo begins Wednesday evening for the Blues, and they’ll be facing quite the stiff opening test.
Colorado boasts an outstanding crop of forwards, featuring elite depth up top with Nate MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog. They also boast impressive depth that can’t be matched. Early in the season while teams are still finding their legs and playing themselves into game-shape, depth could be crucial – and Colorado certainly boasts that.
It also helps for the Avs that they’ll begin at home, giving coach Jared Bednar last change. Look for him to take full advantage of this, and he should be able to get his top-line out away from St. Louis’ impressive new-look top pairing of Torey Krug and Colton Parayko. Having his first line feast on those minutes should lead to goal scoring chances and shots directed at goal throughout this contest.
Additionally, while the Blues too boast a deep forward group, their success comes differently than Colorado’s – as speed isn’t necessarily a forte of their bottom six group. Early in the year, it’s going to take some of St. Louis’ veterans extra time to find their game, and without pre-season matches, don’t be surprised to see a sluggish start from St. Louis.
The name of Colorado’s game is speed, and more speed. Everything they do, they put into action with excellent pace. Look for the Avs to make an early season statement about their intentions on night one, and take it to a contending Blues squad. Colorado should dictate the play, and drive possession at 5-on-5. They are an already elite group, keen to take the next step, and should assert themselves nicely on Opening Night. As short favourites, back the Avs on Wednesday evening.