Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche - 1/11/14
Colorado Avalanche (27-12-4) at Minnesota Wild (24-17-5)
NHL Hockey: Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Xcel Energy Center)
The Line: Minnesota Wild -131 / Colorado Avalanche +119 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Avalanche looks to hand the Wild just their sixth loss at home this season when the teams meet up on Saturday.
The Avalanche head into Minnesota on Saturday looking to snap their opponent’s four game winning streak and pad their division lead over the Wild with a win at the Xcel Energy Center. Colorado has been a very consistent team this season and have more than made up for last season’s epic failure with their 27-12-5 mark through 44 games so far. Patrick Roy is enjoying much success as a rookie head coach as he did as a rookie netminder but If he wants to maintain that pace he will have to hoist the Stanley Cup much like he did as a first year with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. Colorado is a very fast team with a ton of skill which contrasts the way the Wild play their games as they’re more of a grinder team that plays the body so it’ll be interesting to see which game plan proves fruitful in what should be a very exciting contest. Semyon Varlamov gets the call for the Avs while Nik Backstrom counters for the Wild.
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Minnesota has been dealt a number of adversity cards so far this season as they have had to deal with injuries to Zach Parise and have now been without their starting goaltender for the past few weeks as he continues to battles symptoms of MS. Minnesota is a very solid team defensively and a large part of that stems from the play of Ryan Suter who will anchor the American blue line in Sochi next month but they do have a number of other solid blue liners. Offensively the Wild could use some work but do have a handful of capable goalscorers and they’ll have to be out in full force tonight if they want to record their fifth straight win. Ultimately, I think this game will come down to goaltending and while the home side has the better blue line I think Varlamov has played the better hockey this year and I think the AVs overall are a better team. Add in the fact we’re getting Colorado as a dog and I don’t think we have an option.