The best team in the Western Conference will put their stellar home record on the line this Wednesday night when the Colorado Avalanche play host to the Boston Bruins. Colorado is 17-2-1 in the Mile High City going into Monday night’s home game with Chicago, so there’s no doubt that the Avalanche will be sizeable favorites against Boston per the NHL betting odds. The Bruins are currently on pace to make the NHL playoffs, but they are behind seven teams in the Eastern Conference.
Boston Bruins at Colorado Avalanche
When: Wednesday, January 26, 2022, 10 p.m. ET
Where: Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado
NHL Betting at BookMaker.eu
Colorado has won 15 straight home games after topping Montreal 3-2 in overtime on Saturday night. The last home loss for the Avalanche came on November 3, when they fell 5-4 in overtime to the Columbus Blue Jackets. This has been one of the hottest teams since early December with a 16-1-1 record over their last 18 games to seize the top spot in the Western Conference.
Boston should make the playoffs for the sixth straight season. Bruce Cassidy has yet to miss the postseason since taking over for Claude Julien, yet the Bruins are probably going to have their worst season under his tenure. They have been much better in the new year though with a record of 10-2 in their last 12 games.
What to Watch
The Avalanche have the most explosive offense in the NHL. They are averaging 4.15 goals per game this season, and only one other team is averaging more than 3.7 goals per game during the 2021-22 campaign. Nazem Kadri is having a career year with 15 goals and 36 assists, and Mikko Rantanen is second on the team in points with 21 goals and 27 assists.
Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar are the two standout players on the Avalanche. MacKinnon was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft and is in the prime of his career. He has only lit the lamp nine times this season, but he missed a decent part of the year due to injuries and his 33 assists rank sixth in the NHL as of Sunday. As for Makar, he is one of the most talented offensive defensemen we have ever seen. This is his third season in the league, and he has 16 goals and 22 assists through 35 games.
Colorado has two other wingers that can tickle the twine in Gabriel Landeskog and Andre Burakovsky. Darcy Kuemper hasn’t been great in goal, but he has been an improvement in net this season with a .913 save percentage.
Much was made about Tuukka Rask’s return to the lineup for Boston. Rask was not signed following last year’s playoffs after he underwent hip surgery over the summer. He signed a one-year deal with the Bruins on January 11, but he has a 3.87 GAA and an .857 save percentage in three games. Rookie Jeremy Swayman has been the top performing goaltender, and long-time backup Linus Ullmark has been decent in net too.
People may not like Brad Marchand’s antics, but he has been one of the top performing players in the league. Marchand is just outside the top ten with 44 points despite playing in only 33 games, and he had the primary assist in Boston’s game-winning goal over Winnipeg on Saturday night.
David Pastrnak has been excellent on the power play with nine of his 19 goals coming on the man advantage. There has been a lack of scoring outside of the top players though as only five players on Boston have more than 18 points.
Boston Bruins at Colorado Avalanche Free Pick
Colorado will be too much for Boston despite the Bruins’ strong form in recent weeks. The Avalanche have too much talent and will cover the puck line.
Maple Leafs at Rangers Best Bet: Colorado Avalanche -1.5
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