Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild - 10/8/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Minnesota Wild (50-34-8) at Colorado Avalanche (39-31-12)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 9:00 pm (Pepsi Center)
The Line: Colorado Avalanche +103 / Minnesota Wild -114 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Wild look to get started on the right foot with a road win in Colorado on Thursday while the Avs look to rally after last season's disappointing placing.
Minnesota heads into the regular season looking to build on last season's success but they won't be satisfied until they finally break through as one of the powers of the Western Conference and the Chicago Blackhawks have done a pretty good job at keeping them at bay. The Wild have a very deep roster at both ends of the ice and are hoping Devan Dubnyk's midseason resurgence wasn't a flash in the pan last year as he will be their go to guy for the entire season this year. Up front, Jason Pominville, Mikael Granlund, and Zach Parise take charge of the top line but have a ton of support in the form of Thomas Vanek, Mikko Koivu, and Nino Neiderreiter plus a back end led by Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon. They are in a tough spot though on opening night as the Avs are a good team coming off a bad season and will be motivated to do well especially against divisional rivals.
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The Avalanche went from a basement dweller, to a playoff contender, and back again in the span of three seasons and are hoping to contonue the trend and get back into the postseason this year. Colorado does have some holes as all teams do but on the whole they are very nice up front led by Nathan Mackinnon, Matt Duchene, and Gabriel Landeskog which form one of the best lines in the NHL but have some other pieces in guys like Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, and Carl Soderberg who came over from the Bruins. The Avs have some question marks at the back with Tyson Barrie, Nikita Zadorov, Erik Johnson, and Fracois Beauchemin rounding out the top four and Semyon Varlamov looking like the guy in the crease and while it may not be the best defensive battery they are serviceable and I think could surprise some teams. I am taking a shot here with the home side who are getting plus money and offensively I think the Avs have the edge in what could be a battle won by special teams.