The Las Vegas Golden Knights have hijacked their second round series with the highly fancied Colorado Avalanche and if they continue on their rich vein of form, there may not be a game 7 at all. As it stands, the Golden Knights are a win away from rubberstamping their berth in the Western Conference semi-finals.
By the NHL odds, game 6 is predictably cornered in the Golden Knights’ camp as the series heads back to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Can the Golden Knights get the job done at home or will the Avalanche finally find their mojo and force a game 7?
We preview this matchup and serve up choice NHL picks.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights
Thursday, June 10, 2021 – 9:00 PM EDT at T-Mobile Arena
The Avs in Tailspin
The Colorado Avalanche appear to have lost the plot entirely and sports betting sites have taken stock, installing the Avs as the firm underdogs for game 6 in the betting.
After getting off to a bright start in this series, underscoring their top credentials as the No.1 seed in the league and President Trophy winners, the Avs have been on a steady decline. Not only did they lose both away games to the Las Vegas Golden Knights at the T-Mobile Arena, but they’ve now dropped their first home game in the playoffs. Prior to game 5, the Avs boasted an unblemished 4-0 SU record at home, gained on the back of two wins against the Blues in the first round and the first two games of this second round series.
Colorado started well in Tuesday’s pivotal home game, scoring once in the first two periods to take the 2-0 lead into the third period. However, that was the sum of their scoring effort which ultimately proved insufficient as they coughed up the lead and put their postseason in jeopardy.
The Avs committed costly turnovers which proved to be their undoing. Three turnovers to be exact, two in the third period and one barely 10 seconds into overtime which set up Mark Stone to score the game winner.
Colorado coach Jared Bednar gushed about the way his boys played, so he did. "I loved the way we played tonight," he said. "I loved it. I thought we were the aggressors. We were on our toes. We were playing to win the hockey game. We played to our identity. Even the third period, I had no problems with it, except for the turnovers."
Indeed, except for the tunrovers.
Golden Knights Have Initiative
To the credit of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, they never quit. That never-say-die attitude turned this series around and on Tuesday they well and truly took the initiative away from the Colorado Avalanche. Now, they’re in the driver’s seat and in pole position to advance into the penultimate round of the playoffs. As such, bettors will find the Golden Knights tipped as the convincing faves to win game 6 on the NHL odds board.
Even in Tuesday’s pivotal game 5, while down two goals, the Golden Knights didn’t panic. They simply kept at it until opportunity presented itself. Granted they got some help from a few sloppy plays, but don’t expect them to apologise for it. They had Philip Grubauer under constant pressure and they reaped the rewards. Some might even argue very deservedly so.
Alex Tuch scored for the Golden Knights again while Jonathan Marchessault added a goal as well. Mark Stone scored the overtime goal that gave Las Vegas the 3-2 lead in the series.
NHL Predictions and Picks
Home advantage dominated the first four games of this series but that went out of the window with Las Vegas’ road win on Tuesday. Naturally, they’ll be keen to bank on home advantage working in their favor for game 6, but if the Avalanche have any fight left in them they’ll do whatever it takes to turn this series around and serve up a game 7. It’s a big ask because Marc Andre-Flurry has been quite impressive in the last few games but get the puck past him they must. As the saying goes: go big or go home. Colorado needs a big win in game 6, no ifs or buts about it.
The Golden Knights may be the better bet for NHL picks given they have the upper-hand now. But, in the spirit of competition and the edifying experience that game 7 brings to a series, the Avalanche are the choice bet here. If only for the gratification of completing a series to its fullest extent. Who doesn’t love a all-or-nothing game 7?
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.