NHL Betting: Expect Avalanche Veteran Players To Have Career Years

Colorado Avalanche's Francois Beauchemin kneeling before a game

Sunday, October 9, 2016 12:51 AM GMT

Just because Patrick Roy made an exit this Summer that doesn't mean the Av's won't inch closer to the playoff door, let's review the NHL odds for this team's futures.

Projected Win Total: 85.5 -110 at Bookmaker
Last Season: 39-39-4 82pts
Standings: Central Division: 6th / League: 21st (Tied) (Missed playoffs by 5 points)
Team Notes: 1st-year coach Jared Bednar was hired this Summer after Patrick Roy abruptly quit?
2016-17 Stanley Cup Odds: +5000 at BetOnline
Key Statistic: 32.3 saves per game (3rd)

Jared Bednar knows a thing or two about making quick adjustments as a 14-year AHL and ECHL Head Coach. Bednar who has won a Calder and Kelly Cup will have to make one more adjustment after Patrick Roy quit the team August 25th because he wasn't happy in the manner the team was drafting players.

GM Joe Sakic hired Bednar because he wants his team to be more aggressive, the up-tempo style which is exactly the style that Bednar teams have played.

Last season the Av's missed the playoffs by five points with a major point of contention being how Colorado finished (1-8-0).

From a betting standpoint, the 'under' on the season win total has been getting the majority of the action across the board because when people see the change they assume turmoil will follow. That won't be the case here with a team that needed a new voice rather than one that lost to nine straight playoff teams down the stretch being outscored 25-12 in their last six. Roy was not able to motivate a few more wins out of his team down the stretch.

Colorado will rely on their veteran players to have career years. They are led at Center by Nathan MacKinnon would have a terrific World Cup along with second line center Matt Duchene. MacKinnon should be ready to give the team that career year they are seeking especially after giving him a seven-year extension in July. MacKinnon is a supreme talent who should get closer to that point a game player many expect him to be. Duchene, who had two goals on five shots against team USA in the WC, gives them depth up the middle along with newly acquired Carl Soderberg from Boston.

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The worry comes from the defensive side. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov (27-25-3, 2.81, .914) is simply not good enough to be relied on to stop 30 shots plus every night.

Francois Beauchemin and Tyson Barrie will anchor the Av's main defensive pairing. Beauchemin logs huge minutes but at 36 I'm sure his role will be lessened while Barrie doesn't bring a physical presence which works against him defensively.

I'm going to play 'over' 85.5 as my NHL pick which will be an improvement but the Avalanche will miss the playoffs by the slimmest of margins again this season.