NHL Western Conference Final - Oilers vs. Avalanche Lines

NHL Western Conference Final - Oilers vs. Avalanche Betting

If you like goal scoring the NHL’s Western Conference final between the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche will likely have plenty of it. The clubs ranked among the top seven in goals per game during the regular season and they lead the league in postseason scoring with Edmonton averaging 4.33 and Colorado 4.30 goals. Only one other team averages more than 3.5. While the teams have scored plenty in the playoffs, the regular season series was rather tame. All three games came in the last month of the season with Colorado winning twice, though being outscored 9-8. And Colorado’s wins were each by a goal with one in overtime and the other in a shootout, so maybe there is value in backing the underdog.

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Edmonton Oilers vs. Colorado Avalanche Series Schedule

Game 1: Oilers at Avalanche, Tuesday, May 31, 8 p.m. ET (TNT)

Game 2: Oilers at Avalanche, Thursday, June 2, 8 p.m. ET (TNT)

Game 3: Avalanche at Oilers, Saturday, June 4, 8 p.m. ET (TNT)

Game 4: Avalanche at Oilers, Monday, June 6, 8 p.m. ET (TNT)

Game 5: Oilers at Avalanche, Wednesday, June 8 (If Necessary)

Game 6: Avalanche at Oilers, Friday, June, 10 (If Necessary)

Game 7: Oilers at Avalanche, Sunday, June 12 (If Necessary)

Series Price at BookMaker.eu: Avalanche -246 / Oilers +212

Colorado earned the top seed and home ice advantage by recording a franchise-best 56 regular season wins and 119 points. They showed tremendous balance finishing fourth during the season in goal scoring and among the top-10 in goals allowed for a plus-78 goal differential. And getting home ice is a big deal for a team that went 32-5-4 in its barn.

Don’t hand the Avalanche a trip to the Stanley Cup Final just yet, though. Since falling behind Los Angeles three games to two in the opening round, the Oilers won six of seven games, taking the last four in the Battle of Alberta to dispatch the Western Division champion Flames. And they scored at least four goals in every game of that series against the team that allowed the third-fewest goals per game during the season. As a result the OVER went 4-1 in that series with Edmonton getting a pair of wins on the road, including the series clincher in Game 5.

When you take about the Oilers goaltending is well down the list. At the top is their dynamic scoring duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who are tied for individual postseason scoring honors with 26 points. And that’s really not surprising since they also dominated during the season and have done so for years. McDavid led the NHL with 123 points while Draisaitl placed fourth with 110 points.

After several postseason failures and years of not even reaching the playoffs, many doubted if McDavid and Draisaitl could ever bring success to the franchise. They may have found the missing link in Evander Kane, who was signed in January, and produced 22 goals and 17 assists in 43 games. Kane has five multi-goal games this postseason and tops the NHL with 12 goals. He tallied four goals and an assist in three games against the Avalanche.

There is plenty of scoring talent on the Avalanche and maybe a more balanced lineup. Four players had at least 85 points with no other team having more than two players register that many. Mikko Rantanen led the way with 92 points while Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar lead the team in playoff points with 13 in 10 games.

Without question there’s plenty of offense on the ice, so the determining factor is going to be what team plays more responsibly on the defensive end and which goaltender has the better series. Mike Smith regained the starting job for Edmonton during the season and has started every playoff game with a 2.70 GAA and .927 save percentage. Those are good numbers, but he’s been inconsistent allowing at least three goals in half his 12 starts.

Player to Watch

The Oilers shredded Vezina Trophy finalist Jacob Markstrom in the previous round putting a lot of pressure on Avs goalie Darcy Kuemper, who is 6-2 in his nine playoff starts with a 2.44 GAA and .904 save percentage. And to make matters worse, Kuemper struggled in his last outing against Edmonton allowing five goals on 26 shots in a 6-3 loss in the final week of the regular season. Colorado does have an edge in the backup department with Pavel Francouz getting a win in both his appearances while also posting a .916 save percentage in 21 regular season games.

Oilers vs. Avalanche Free Picks

If anything it should be an exciting series. The Oilers have exorcised their playoff demons while the Avalanche could be the best team in the NHL. More balanced scoring, awesome special teams and more consistent goalkeeping, along with home ice advantage, has me leaning toward the favorite in the series, though it will be close.

Oilers vs. Avalanche Series Pick: Avalanche in 7 Games

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