Avalanche Show Signs of Life
The Colorado Avalanche emerged from the preseason with a perfect 6-0 record, causing us to take a second look at their chances in NHL betting this year. At 39-39-4, they placed sixth in the tough Central Division last year and missed the playoffs. During the offseason, the Avs did little more than let revered Hall of Famer Patrick Roy go as coach and hired a minor league coach Jared Bednar to replace him. But two wins each over Dallas, Los Angeles and Minnesota in the preseason, offers a hint that Bednar may have things going in the right direction.
Colorado was in the playoff race last season until fading late, losing eight of its last 10 games, missing the postseason for the second straight year.
The Avs enter this season with much the same equipment. Their offseason trades and draft moves were barely mentionable, so they are left with high-end offensive talent led by Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon. Those two and captain Gabriel Landeskog's consistent two-way game form the core of Colorado's arsenal. Otherwise, they have to hope that their defense performs better and that they can get goalie Semyon Varlamov to revert to his 2014 form after a couple of lackluster seasons.
But Bednar brings in a new strategy of puck possession, which is where Roy and the Colorado management disagreed. Roy liked the counterattack game that was exciting at times, but also in the long run led to too much time without the puck.
NHL Betting on Colorado
The defense and goalkeeping have showed signs of life in the preseason, with a couple of shutouts among the Avs' victories. The Avs scored no more than four goals in each of the six triumphs.
Colorado opens its season Saturday at home vs. Dallas, then goes on a dreadful eastern road swing at Pittsburgh, Washington, Tampa Bay and Florida. By that time, we should know something. If they get through that with a .500 record or better, Bednar should stamp "mission accomplished" on their helmets, and we can look to the Avs as a team to depend on in NHL betting. Meanwhile, look for Colorado and unders numbers, with a couple of upsets tossed in.
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