The Golden Knights are in desperation mode after dropping both games in Colorado but they will get a taste of home-cookin’ on Friday night as they return to the T-Mobile Arena. Let’s analyze this Friday night matchup and keep cashing our NHL picks!
Colorado Avalanche vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Friday, June 4, 2021 – 10:00 PM EDT at T-Mobile Arena
After getting blown out in Game 1, the Knights responded with a solid effort that came up just short in dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to the Avalanche on Wednesday night. Vegas got goals from Alec Martinez (power play) and Reilly Smith to even things up and then skated through a scoreless third period.
But despite a 41-25 advantage in shots, the game ultimately hinged on a controversial penalty called on Reilly Smith in overtime that saw the Avs bury the biscuit for the game-winner. They now take a 2-0 series lead heading into Sin City for a Game 3 showdown.
“Just a soft call,” Vegas coach Pete DeBoer said. “I can’t even blame the refs. Because they’re fighting the embellishment of grabbing your face, or falling down or dropping your stick every period. I can’t even blame the referee on it. They fooled them on it.”
Vegas netminder, Marc-Andre Fleury, was back between the pipes after getting a breather in Game 1, which resulted in a 7-1 destruction of the Knights with Robin Lehner in the net. Curiously, the Vegas goaltending tandem had been alternated religiously by head coach Peter DeBoer down the home stretch of the season. However, once the bell rang for the postseason, it was MAF charged with full-time duty, relegating Lehner to the bench throughout Vegas’s seven-game death struggle with the Wild.
Rocky Mountain High
There is no hotter team in the league than the sizzling Colorado Avalanche, having won 11 straight and 14 of their last 15 contests. They picked the opportune time to become the NHL’s most ferocious juggernaut and it is not surprising that, according to the NHL odds, they have been installed as an average -258 favorite throughout their 11-game winning streak.
Brandon Saad and Tyson Jost scored during regulation in Game 2 but it was Mikko Rantanen who lit the lamp on the power play in overtime to send the Avs into Game 3 with a 2-0 series edge. And as jubilant as Rantanen was about getting the game-winner, he aptly gave credit to his Vezina finalist teammate, Phillip Grubauer, who was once again an ironman tending the twine in stopping 39 of 41 shots.
“Not our best game, but still found a way,” Rantanen said. “That’s what we’ve been doing the whole year. Sometimes we haven’t been feeling it and Grubi’s been awesome and stealing some wins for us — like today. That’s what you need if you want to win the Cup.”
Wanna Make a Bet?
It is hard to stop a freight train and that’s exactly how I would feel betting against the Avalanche. What reason is there really to jump ship? Vegas played their hearts out in Game 2 and still came up empty. How do they respond after leaving it all on the ice on Wednesday night after being humiliated the game before? And now they have to trudge home down 2-0 to the best club in hockey?
What’s more, is that the oddsmakers are giving us plenty of incentive to get down on the Avs at a price that we haven’t seen this low in forever. SugarHouse is dealing Colorado as -112 road chalk in their early lines which is just about a pick’em.
Look, I am not unaware that these teams split their season series, 4-4, but the postseason is a different animal and right now the best team just happens to have the best goalie on the planet patrolling the crease for them as well. That’s a combination I am not going to ignore and neither should you. If you want a few more reasons to get down on the Avs then take a peek at these betting trends.
- – Avalanche are 5-0 in their last five games as a road favorite.
- – Avalanche are 5-0 in their last five road games.
- – Golden Knights are 1-4 in their last five playoff games as an underdog.
- – Golden Knights are 1-5 in their last six games as an underdog.
Free NHL Pick: Avalanche -112 at SugarHouse