Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Mikko Rantanen
Avalanche vs. Predators Odds
|Time||2 pm ET|
The Colorado Avalanche have been playing some pretty good hockey and have absolutely owned the Nashville Predators in recent history.
The Predators haven’t gotten off to the start they were hoping for, but are talented enough to turn it around and get things going in a positive direction. That being said, the Avalanche are their kryptonite and I don’t think this will be the game where they turn things around.
The Avalanche’s power play has been money of late and I think that will be the difference in this game.
The Avalanche’s power play has converted in seven straight games and they are the number one team in the league on the man advantage with a 34.4% conversion rate. During this seven-game span, they have scored on nine of 30 attempts.
Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon have been on an absolute tear this season and are both in the top 10 in the league in scoring. Rantanen is sixth in points with 13 goals and 15 assists in 18 games. MacKinnon is just behind him (10th) with five goals and 22 assists in 18 games.
Even though Colorado’s power play unit has been outstanding, it hasn’t necessarily translated to 5-on-5. The even-strength goal scoring hasn’t come as easy as it did for the Avalanche last season. They are skating to a 2.46 xGF/60 and are only generating 11.42 high-danger chances at 5-on-5 each game.
The offense might not be clicking all that much at 5v5 for Colorado, but the Avalanche have been excellent in the defensive end at even strength. They have the best 5-on-5 goals against per 60 minutes, only allowing an average of 1.7 goals against.
The Avalanche have the edge in this matchup and should be able to continue their dominance over Nashville.
The Nashville Predators have had a very hard time scoring goals this season and they were shut out by the Detroit Red Wings in their most recent game. The Predators have the third-worst goals-per-game average, scoring only 2.55 goals per contest.
Nashville is going to rely heavily on goaltender Juuse Saros in this battle. Saros hasn’t been as good as he was last year, but he’s 7-6-2 with a .905 SV% and a 3.06 GAA. These numbers aren’t necessarily impressive, but Saros was considered one of the best goalies in the league last season.
Nashville has actually been better than Colorado at 5-on-5 play, averaging 2.25 goals per 60 at even strength. However, the Predators power play has struggled this season.
Avalanche vs. Predators Pick
The Avalanche are 6-2 in the past eight meetings in Nashville and are looking to keep the winning trend rolling.
Special teams are most likely going to be the difference in this game because both teams are relatively even at 5-on-5. This Avalanche power play unit is so hard to defend with Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar all playing outstanding hockey. I don’t think the Predators are going to be able to slow those three down.