Colorado Avalanche (18-16-8) at Carolina Hurricanes (13-24-5)
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 13, 2015, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Carolina Hurricanes -123 / Colorado Avalanche +111 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Avalanche look to get back in the win column after a loss in Washington last night as they continue their road trip in Raleigh to face the Hurricanes.
The Avalanche have been playing much better of late and it coincides with the return to health of Semyon Varlamov and while they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Washington Capitals yesterday they sit in fifth place in the Central and are hot on the heels of the Winnipeg Jets. Colorado stumbled out of the gates this season thanks in large part to the huge weight on them this season to perform after winning the division a year ago and while it was easy to assume they would regress this season I don't think anyone envisioned they would have started the way they did. The Avs have won 6 of their last 10 games to stay relevant and with a win here they can pull to within three points of the Jets for fourth in the Central which would be a huge step from where they were just two weeks ago. Calvin Pickard is expected to get the call between the pipes and he will go up against Cam Ward for the Canes.
The Hurricanes are starting to get some love as well for their play of late but the fact remains they sit in the basement of the Eastern Conference and are just two points removed from being the league's worst team altogether. Carolina knew they were in for a tough season and the hardships may continue later on as the trade deadline approaches as some marquee names of the franchise could be on the move to make way for a full blown rebuild. The Canes are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games and actually have a winning record at home this season and they get an Avs team coming off a road loss yesterday so all the circumstances point to Carolina being favoured in this spot. However, I am not biting as the Avs are by far the superior team here on paper and while Pickard may lose the goaltending battle with Ward he has some substantial minutes this season and shouldn't be treated as a standard backup and for that reason among others I am on the visitors here at plus money.