NHL Picks: Avalanche to Send Ducks to 0-3-1 Start

Swinging Johnson

Friday, October 16, 2015 6:54 PM GMT

Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 6:54 PM GMT

The Avalanche hit the road to take on the winless Ducks in Anaheim. Let’s peruse the NHL odds and see which side is the right side to play in our NHL picks tonight.

Colorado Avalanche (1-2, -1.6 units)
Solid goaltending has been a problem for the Avalanche in the early going as Semyon Varlamov has gotten all three starts with less than stellar results. Despite a league-leading four goals per game scoring average and the top power play unit clicking on 50% of its opportunities (yes, the season is that young) the Avs are 1-2 and their goaltender is sporting a dubious 5.07 GAA and .841 save percentage. Therefore it comes as no surprise that backup Reto Berra will be tending the twine when the Avalanche faceoff against the Ducks this evening.

Swedish import Gabriel Landeskog has caught fire notching four goals on the young season with two of them coming in Colorado’s only win of the season, a 6-3 decision over the Stars. Former Anaheim Duck defenseman Francois Beauchemin now plies his trade with the Avalanche and the change of scenery has done him good with five assists putting him among the NHL leaders in that category.

 

Anaheim Ducks (0-3, -4.8 units)
The Anaheim Ducks have been the team to beat in the Pacific division for the last three years but their start this season betrays all that anyone thought they knew about this season’s edition. Anaheim has only one lone goal over the course of their three losses on the young season and was blanked 4-0 by the Coyotes in their last outing. Despite the defeat at the hands of Arizona the Ducks managed 37 shots on net but the superior effort by the Coyote’s Mike Smith held them scoreless.

Ryan Getzlaf was quoted as saying, "We just have to wake up. We're playing like a team not playing for anything right now. It's about accountability throughout this locker room."

That disappointment and sense of urgency pervades the Ducks’ locker room as defenseman Cam Fowler added, “It's a pretty humbling game. We're by no means where we need to be. Not just in execution, but our work ethic."

The NHL odds makers pegged the Ducks as -210 home favorites on Wednesday night against the Coyotes and the chalk eaters who included Anaheim in their NHL picks were soon biting their fingernails after backup netminder Anton Khudobin surrendered three fist period goals on only eight shots before being pulled in favor of Frederik Andersen who allowed only one goal the rest of the way. Andersen has faced 90 shots this season allowing four goals. It is presumed he will be in net tonight as the Ducks try desperately to stop the bleeding.

 

Betting Prediction
We have a case of a perennial powerhouse in the Anaheim Ducks being mired in the doldrums of an early season funk while the Avalanche are struggling to prove that they have the firepower to be viewed as a postseason contender. Firepower and scoring punch have not been lacking for Colorado but they sorely need someone to stop the hemorrhaging in net. With that said Reto Berra is the confirmed goalie tonight for Colorado and undoubtedly the Colorado defense is on notice that they too need to ramp up their game.

The due factor is a tempting reason to include the Ducks in your NHL picks tonight but the way the Avs are scoring and the change in net gives me the impression that the visitors may be a very live dog here. When last the teams met the Avalanche skated away with a 4-2 victory in Anaheim last season and I am betting they do the same again tonight.

NHL Picks: Avalanche +170 at GTBets

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