Spilko's Saturday NHL Playoffs Pick: Avalanche vs Oilers – Game 3 in Edmonton, so far it's been Avs vs Av-nots
The Colorado Avalanche have used its home-ice advantage in stride and jumped out to a 2-0 series lead over the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Final on Thursday night.
The series will flip to Edmonton’s venue as the Oilers will try and dig themselves out of a major hole against the NHL’s Stanley Cup favorites. Here’s what you should be looking to wager when Game 3 arrives on Saturday night.
Game 3: Colorado Avalanche at Edmonton Oilers (Avalanche lead 2-0)
The Avalanche made the high-flying Oilers look like a team that was out of gas in Game 2. After a goal-fest in the opening contest of the series, Colorado made the necessary defensive adjustments to stifle just about anything that Edmonton had to offer on the road.
In Thursday’s 4-0 win, the Avalanche’s expected goals for was around 3.60. Edmonton’s expected goals for was 0.66 with no recorded high danger chances (all data courtesy of Clear Sight Analytics). It was the kind of loss that will surely give Colorado the edge heading into Game 3, having outplayed Edmonton through the first two games of the series.
The Avalanche have also been road warriors. The sweep over the Nashville Predators saw a 7-3 win and a 5-3 victory on the road for Colorado. In the six-game series win over the St. Louis Blues, the Avalanche won all three of their contests on the road, including a pivotal, one-goal Game 6 win.
In total, the Avalanche have outscored their opponents on the road 26-13 this postseason. What’s to say that Colorado can’t do it again in Game 3 against Edmonton? The Oilers are 4-2 in the postseason at home but have shown that they aren’t able to match Colorado’s goal-scoring prowess.
Colorado’s ability to win with its elite finishing and speed on offense is already scary enough. But when you factor in the Avalanche’s willingness to shut down an opponent on the defensive end, like they did in Game 2’s 4-0 win, you have a very, very dangerous team.
I’m willing to bet that the two-way Avalanche return in Game 3, even on the road. Back Colorado to win outright once again until they prove otherwise. It might just be Colorado’s year.
The pick: Colorado Avalanche moneyline (-125)