Free NHL Hockey Prediction: Avalanche vs Panthers Odds
Looking for Colorado Avalanche vs. Florida Panthers free hockey plays? NHL betting sees the Avalanche taking on the Panthers on Saturday October 22nd at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NHL Hockey matchups all season long so stay tuned for more FREE daily NHL hockey predictions.
(2-1-0) Colorado Avalanche vs. Florida Panthers (2-0-1)
Date: Saturday October 22nd
Time: 7:00 PM (EST)
Venue: BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL.
NHL Hockey Moneyline Odds: Panthers -155
NHL Hockey Puck Line Odds: OFF
NHL Betting Total: 5.5
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Two young squads that are both off to strong starts will face off in Florida. Colorado and Florida have combined for just one regular season lost across their six games total, and it may come down to a battle of special teams in this one for who claims the W.
While Florida ranks 1st in the league on the penalty-kill with a perfect 100% rating, Colorado ranks 5th with the man-advantage at a 33.3% scoring clip on the PP.
On the other side, Colorado ranks second-last on the penalty-kill, while Florida ranks second-last in powerplay percentage.
Gone is former Head Coach, Patrick Roy, and in is Jason Bednar, a young coach who has been a winner at every level and is now in his first duty in the NHL.
It appears early on that he’s got the ear of his young players and that the change was a positive development for the franchise, as Nathan MacKinnon appears the be rejuvenated after a down year last season.
MacKinnon leads the team with four points in his three games thus far, including a team high 3 assists. Fellow youngsters Gabriel Landeskog, Tyson Barrie, Mikhail Grigorenko and Joe Colborne all have multiple points, as foes the veteran leader on the blueline, Erik Johnson.
Once Matt Duchene gets going, this young forward corps could be the envy of much of the league.
It’s only a matter of time with Duchene, as the leader for the Avs’ in points last season is still top-5 in ice-time amongst their forwards under the new coaching regime.
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov is looking to rebound after laying an egg against Dallas on the 15th, where he allowed five goals on 28 shots and was pulled.
He followed up with a good showing in Washington, where he recorded a .925 SV% on 40 shots faced. If he is to falter this season, Colorado has their starter-in-waiting as backup this year, in Calvin Pickard.
Tyson Barrie signed a new deal in the off-season and quarterbacks the PP alongside captain Erik Johnson.
Not surprisingly, each have three points through three games and are logging big minutes on the back-end for this high-flying Avs team.
The Panthers are without two of their young offensive stars, Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjustad, who both suffered injuries and remain on the IR.
While both are significant losses, the young roster has plenty of depth who have stepped up and filled in nicely. Jonathan Marchessault, a Tampa Bay castoff, has been a nice surprise so far, leading the with 2G+2A through their first three games.
Aleksander Barkov may be one of the most underratied players in the entire league, as the young pivot plays a strong two-way game and is currenlty sitting at a point-per-game for the season.
The 3rd overall pick in the 2013 Draft will face-off against the #1 overall pick in the same class, Nathan MacKinnon.
Fellow former #1 pick (from the 2014 draft), Aaron Ekblad, leads the back-end for the Panthers.
The 6’4, 216 lb. defender is an excellent skater and steady all-round cornerstone defender who logs the most minutes on the blueline and only just 20 years old. He is joined by veteran off-signee, Keith Yandle, as the top-pairing.
Fellow veteran acquistion, Jason Demers, pairs with another young D-man, Michael Matheson, to round out the top-4 in Florida.
With so many young players comprising the Florida lineup, it’s a nice compliment to have the steady veteran presence in Roberto Luongo between the pipes.
The seemingly ageless Bobby Lou has been nothing short of excellent in his age-37 year, with a 2-0-0 record and 0.98 GAA with a .957 SV%, which only trail his replacement in Vancouver, Ryan Miller, amongst regular starters.
NHL Hockey Handicapping Trends
- When facing one another last season, the two split the series 1-1 with each team winning on their respective home ice.
- Veteran RW Jarome Iginla is uncharacteristically 2nd in the league in penalty minutes with 19, currently.
Free Colorado Avalanche vs Florida Panthers NHL Hockey Prediction
Oh how the times have changed, as this should actually be one of the more exciting games to watch on Saturday and there’s no way I would have said that three years ago.
The respective rosters are infused with young, top-end talent and both play a speed game that should lend well to a lot of chances.
4* Free NHL Betting Pick: Over 5.5
Yes, Luongo has been excellent this season and Aaron Ekblad is a great young defender, but there is just too much offensive firepower in this game to not like the over.
Even without Huberdeau and Bjustad in the lineup, Florida’s top three lines have excellent young scorers, not unlike their counterparts from Colorado.
Add in the fact that Colorado currently ranks 19th/30 in goals against, allowing 3.7 on average, as well as 29th/30 on the PK, I like a high goal total.
NHL Free Score Prediction: Colorado 3 – Florida 4
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