Avalanche vs. Rangers Pick
Oddsmakers at sports book Bovada.lv have set the Rangers as a -200 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Avalanche are a +170 underdog and the over-under is 5.5.
Colorado completed last year with a 22-56-4 record, while New York was 48-28-6 and lost to the Senators in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Rangers won both meetings last year, 6-2 in Colorado and 4-2 at home with both games going over the total.
The Avalanche were led last year by Nathan MacKinnon (16 goals, 37 assists) and Matt Duchene (18 goals, 23 assists. Calvin Pickard went 15-31-2 in goal with a 2.98 GAA and .904 save percentage. New York was paced in 2016-17 by Mats Zuccarello (15 G, 44 A) and J.T. Miller (22 G, 34 A). Henrik Lundqvist was 31-20-4 with a 2.74 GAA and .910 save percentage.
Colorado struggled to score last year and it's difficult to imagine this year being much different. There is some talent on the roster, but for whatever reason it hasn't taken that next step forward yet. A matchup with Lundqvist and the Rangers seems to be a recipe for disaster in the regular season opener. Lundqvist will be looking to bounce back from what was a bit of a down year for him, while Pickard in goal for Colorado should be improved between the pipes this year. Offenses won't be crisp this early in the season and this has the makings of a defensive battle, contrary to the two games these two teams played against each other last year.
NHL DAILY PREDICTION: AVALANCHE/RANGERS UNDER 5.5