Sunday NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Anaheim Ducks vs. Colorado Avalanche
Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Anaheim Ducks standout Ryan Getzlaf.
- The Anaheim Ducks take on the Colorado Avalanche in Sunday's NHL action.
- Analyst Greg Liodice isn't afraid to back the visiting Ducks, who are +225 underdogs in the Mile High City.
- Check out his breakdown of the the matchup below and why he's forecasting Anaheim to snag the upset.
Ducks vs. Avalanche Odds
|Over/Under||6 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||3 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
As the year 2022 begins, the Anaheim Ducks and Colorado Avalanche look to start the new year off on the right foot. The Avalanche will be playing their first game since Dec. 18 due to postponements, while the Ducks are looking to break a three-game losing streak.
Anaheim has dealt with some struggles of late, due to losing a few key pieces to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, but are a talented team. In their last 10 games, the Ducks have gone 4-2-4, holding strong in second place in the Pacific Division.
On the other side, think of this game as a fresh start for the Avalanche. While all teams were back after an extended Christmas break, the Avalanche kept getting games postponed. And as a result, Colorado hasn’t played up to its standards in its first 27 games, so maybe this break is exactly what the franchise needed.
Anaheim has been one of the league’s most exciting teams. With an abundance of young talent in Troy Terry, Sonny Milano, and Trevor Zegras (who might miss out), mixed in with veteran leaders like captain Ryan Getzlaf and Cam Fowler, it’s hard to envision a more solid bunch.
With standouts they have, the Ducks are an interesting case when it comes to driving play. They rank 19th in expected goals per 60 minutes with a 2.29 xGF, but generate the sixth-most high danger chances. The large amount of HDC can probably be attributed to Anaheim’s power play, where it ranks fifth in scoring at a 26.9% clip.
One strength the Ducks have is their goaltending. They have a dynamic duo in John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz. Gibson has seen the bulk of the starts and has posted a solid .915 SV% and a -0.9 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected).
His partner, Stolarz, has really come into his own in his sixth season. He currently has a solid .932 SV% and a 3.3 GSAx. Stolarz hasn’t played since Dec. 15th, so Dallas Eakins might give him the nod. I would pay close attention to who starts in net.
Colorado has its own talented bunch. Many pegged the Avalanche to be a Stanley Cup favorite, but they haven’t lived up to the hype just yet. Contrary to the Ducks, they have elite talent all in the prime of their careers. Led by superstar Nathan MacKinnon, they’re backed by Nazem Kadri, captain Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and defenseman Cale Makar.
Even though it’s been a fairly disappointing season for Colorado thus far, it’s elite at driving play. The Avalanche are the top team with a 3.33 xGF per 60 minutes. However, they don’t generate as many high danger chances, standing at 28th in the NHL. That’s fairly surprising since they’re a quality team on the power play, scoring at a 23.4% rate.
Either way, I expect the Avalanche to get out of this slump and this break will potentially help them in the long run.
The struggles the club has had can probably be attributed to its goaltending. Darcy Kuemper hasn’t lived up to the hype and has been a disappointment, although he’s progressively gotten better as the season has progressed.
Currently, Kuemper has a .907 SV%, as well as a -1.8 GSAx. Colorado fans can only hope Kuemper has a much better 2022 than what he give the team last year.
Ducks vs. Avalanche Pick
This matchup should be interesting. It’s the Avalanche’s first game in three weeks, while the Ducks are desperately trying to get out of their slump to keep their Pacific Division position.
I think Colorado will eventually pull itself back into contention, but rust will also be a factor. I can see some value backing the Ducks in this matinee matchup.
Pick: Anaheim (+160 or better)