NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Blackhawks vs. Avalanche (Jan. 24)
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog
- The Colorado Avalanche are once again big favorites in their NHL game on Monday night.
- Despite winning 11 of their last 12, Grant White believes that the Avalanche could be in a tough spot against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.
Blackhawks vs. Avalanche Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Chicago Blackhawks continue their three-game road trip and will be playing their third game in four nights when they take on the Colorado Avalanche on Monday.
The Avs have won six in a row, going 11-0-1 this month, but their ongoing success is contraindicated in their metrics. Things could catch up with the Avs against the Hawks.
This season has been a grind for the Blackhawks. The once-mighty franchise is four games below .500 at the halfway point of their season, but there are a few indicators that they are due for a few more wins.
Chicago is getting better goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury and Kevin Lankinen, thanks in part to better defensive metrics. The Hawks will have to rely on that to quell the Avs’ attack.
The Blackhawks have been one of the best teams in the league in high-danger chances allowed. Chicago gives up just 7.7 quality opportunities per game at five-on-five, ranking among the league’s elite. That solid defensive zone coverage has been evident over their recent sample, with opponents attempting more than nine high-danger chances twice over the past 13 games.
That’s directly impacted goaltending metrics, helping the Hawks remain competitive in games. Fleury has been playing well of late. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is stepping 93.6% of shots over his previous six starts, going 4-1-1 in the process.
The other promising metric is that the Hawks have out-shot three of their past four opponents at five-on-five, contributing to expected goals-for percentages above 50.0% in two of those contests. Chicago is starting to build momentum, and good results should follow.
The Avalanche have been less assertive over their recent stretch, but they continue to pile up wins. Colorado has yet to lose in regulation in 2022 despite their metrics working against them. We’re expecting their house of cards to come tumbling down, and that could start against the Hawks on Monday.
Over their 12 game stretch, the Avs have outplayed their opponents at five-on-five just six times. Cumulatively, they’ve put together a 51.9% expected goals-for rating, with an actual percentage of 67.4%. That has ballooned their PDO to an unsustainable 1.034 at five-on-five, bringing their season-long rating up to 1.018, the fourth-highest in the NHL.
Colorado will also be competing with condensed scheduling. Monday night’s contest will be their fourth game in six nights, part of a much larger 13-game in a 24-night span. The Avs’ defensive zone coverage has been lacking over their recent sample, and fatigue could factor into that.
Colorado has allowed an average of 10.5 high-danger chances per game over their past four, getting out-chanced in three of those contests. Monday night’s Central Division battle also sets up as a bit of a flat spot for the Avs, as they have a date with the Boston Bruins to look forward to.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Colorado Avalanche Pick
The Avs can’t continue to get outplayed and win. Colorado has struck an unsustainable balance by putting up subpar metrics and still finding ways to win games. The Hawks have been buoyed by above-average goaltending, and that will be key to facilitating the Avs’ regression.
This line should move further in the Avalanche’s favor, so you may be better served waiting till closer to puck drop, but we’ll be on the Hawks when it does.
Pick: Blackhawks +240