Golden Knights vs Avalanche NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions
Pictured: Logan Thompson #36 of the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
- The Avalanche host the Golden Knights on Tuesday night.
- Vegas has been off to a fast start this season, while Colorado is looking to get back to its championship form.
- Carol Schram previews the game and shares her best bet below.
Golden Knights vs. Avalanche Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||+140|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
With just three games on the schedule on Monday, the NHL is serving up a tasty Western Conference matchup for dessert after the Winter Classic at Fenway Park earlier in the day.
The top team in the Pacific Division will be visiting the defending Stanley Cup Champion when the Vegas Golden Knights touch down at Ball Arena in Denver to face the Colorado Avalanche.
Injuries are a big part of the story for both sides. Here are the latest updates on both teams, and your best bet for the game.
Vegas Golden Knights
It has been a terrific bounce-back season for the Vegas Golden Knights under their new head coach, Bruce Cassidy. With 52 points and a 25-12-2 record, Las Vegas is tied with the Dallas Stars at the top of the Western Conference.
To their credit, their sixth-best points percentage is higher than the sum of the parts. They’re 11th in both goals for and goals against per game, eighth on the power play, 19th on the penalty kill and eighth in expected goals at 5-on-5, at 53.02%. Vegas has been opportunistic and has received terrific goaltending from Logan Thompson, who should be in consideration for the Calder Trophy. With the third-heaviest workload in the league so far this season, Thompson has put up an impressive 17-9-1 record with a 2.64 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and 1.4 goals saved above expected.
The trip to Denver is a one-off for the Golden Knights, who beat the Nashville Predators 5-4 in overtime on New Year’s Eve at T-Mobile Arena. They’re 5-4-1 in their past 10 games, but even after losing in both L.A. and Anaheim last week, they still have the best road record in the NHL — 14-3-2.
The injury bug has bitten hard recently, though. Against Nashville, Vegas was missing Shea Theodore, Alec Martinez and Zach Whitecloud from the blue line, as well as Jack Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault, Brett Howden and Paul Cotter up front.
Eichel took part in Sunday’s optional practice, but will likely need a bit more time before getting back in the lineup. Martinez is also close to a return. But the Golden Knights called up two more reinforcements from the AHL on Sunday: veteran center Byron Froese and young defenseman Kaedan Korczak.
Nathan MacKinnon returned to the Colorado lineup on New Year’s Eve after missing 11 games, but the Avalanche fell 6-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs and are 0-2-1 in their past three games. Injuries are still an issue for the defending champions. They’re without Gabriel Landeskog, Valeri Nichushkin and Darren Helm up front, Josh Manson and Bowen Byram on the blue line, and Pavel Francouz in net.
Alexandar Georgiev has good numbers for the year, at 15-8-3, a .915 save percentage, 2.66 goals-against average and 3.5 goals saved above expected.
But he has played seven straight games. The 26-year-old, who has never played more than 34 games in a season, may be showing signs of fatigue. Since the Christmas break, he has given up five goals to the Arizona Coyotes on Dec. 27, four to the Kings on the 29th and five to the Leafs in 35:24 of ice time on the 31st. He was pulled late in the second period against Toronto, with Jonas Johansson finishing the game. However, Georgiev will most likely get the nod again Monday. The Avalanche will then have two days off before visiting Vancouver on Thursday.
With injuries and their Stanley Cup hangover dominating the discourse this season, the Avalanche have done well to keep themselves in the Western Conference playoff mix. They’re 19-13-3. Their power play has continued to click at an impressive 25.6% and they control a respectable 51.42% of expected goals at 5-on-5. But they’ve had some trouble getting enough goals, ranked 19th at just 2.91 goals per game.
Golden Knights vs. Avalanche Pick
With all their injuries, you may not recognize Vegas or Colorado without referring to a lineup card on Monday night.
The Golden Knights are coming off a win and have withstood their recent challenges quite well. Even when they lose, they’ve kept it close. They’ve been great on the road all year. And Thompson has continued to deliver in net.
The Avalanche have been in a funk since the holiday break. Not even MacKinnon’s return could turn the tide on Saturday night, and the heavy workload that has been foisted on the team’s top players, especially Georgiev, has been burdensome.
Vegas has an excellent opportunity to pick up two points in Denver and at +130, there’s plenty of incentive to back the Golden Knights. There’s some good value here.
Pick: Golden Knights Moneyline (+140) | Play to +110