Better Offense Makes Avalanche Our NHL Pick Against Devils Tonight

Bruce Webster

Thursday, January 14, 2016 3:50 PM GMT

The New Jersey Devils come into this game off a rough 5-2 road loss to the St Louis Blues, while the Colorado Avalanche come in off a 4-0 shutout loss to Tampa Bay. No brainer here?

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NHL Pick: Colorado -121
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Kinkaid Struggles in Loss to the Blues
Keith Kinkaid got just his 8th start of the year and is now just 3-5 with a 2.61 GAA, following the 5-2 loss to St Louis. He was giving Cory Schneider and just had a rough showing vs a St Louis team that was struggling to score. Schneider should be back in goal for this one and he is 18-18 with a solid 2/09 GAA on the year, including 11-7 with a 1.98 GAA on the road and while he is just 6-7 vs the Avs in his career, he has a solid 1.67 GAA in those games. Defense has not been a problem for the Devils this year as they come in ranked 5th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.3 gpg, while allowing teams to convert on just 18% of their power play chances, which is 9th in the league. 

The offense, however, has been a different story altogether as they check in at 29th in the league in scoring, putting up just 2.2 gpg, while converting on 18.3% of their power play chances, which is 16th. In the loss to the Blues, the Devils fell behind 1-0 at the halfway point of the first period before getting goals from Bobby Farnham, which was his 7th and Lee Stepniack which was his 10th, to take a 2-1 lead at the end of the first. After that it was all Blues. The New Jersey Devils could be a much stronger team in the East if they had even an average offense, but for now they will be a below average team at best.   

 

Colorado Gets Blanked At Home By Ben Bishop
The Colorado Avalanche have been a very good offensive team this year, but after losing 4-0 to the Lightning on Tuesday night they have now been shutout twice in their last six games. Overall this year they have now been shutout four times. In the four games between the two recent shutouts they scored 16 total goals, so this is still a very solid offensive team and they just ran into a buzzsaw vs Bishop. For the year the Avs now rank 8th in the league in scoring, putting up 2.8 gpg, while converting on 21.2% of their power play chances, which is 6th. All this despite the fact that they are 26th in shots taken. They just know what to do with their shots.

Semyon Varmalov took the loss in the game and is now just 3-6 in his last nine starts, while for the year he has gone 15-15 with a 2.82 GAA. It looks as if the Avs will be going with Calvin Pickard, who has played in five games this year, but has just one start, which he won 6-3 over San Jose. This will be his first ever meeting with the Devils. 

The Avs have had their issues at the defensive end of the ice, where they rank 25th in goals allowed, giving up 2.9 gpg, while allowing teams to convert on 20.6% of their power play chances, which is 20th. Let's check the latest trends and NHL odds first.

 

New Jersey Trends
24-49 in their last 73 vs. the Western Conference
5-13 in their last 18 vs. the Central

Colorado Trends
6-1 in their last seven home games vs. a team with a winning road record
13-4 in their last 17 games following a home loss of three or more goals

 

Betting Analysis
The Avs are off a shutout loss to the Lightning and the last two times they were shutout this year they bounced back with win. The Devils are one of the worst scoring teams in the league and the Avs have put up 2.95 gpg at home. Colorado has dominated this series of late and that should continue tonight, behind the far better offense that is now angry after getting shutout. Take Colorado as the sharp NHL pick.