Arizona Coyotes (20-30-7) at Colorado Avalanche (23-22-11)
|Date & Time||Monday February 16, 2015, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Colorado Avalanche -182 / Arizona Coyotes +164 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Avalanche look to get back in the wild card hunt at the expense of the Coyotes when the two teams meet up in Denver on Monday.
The Arizona Coyotes have had a tough season and in the midst of a three game losing skid things could go from bad to worse with the trade deadline looming and sellers already starting to unload their top trading chips. Arizona has been rumored to be in the market to acquire draft picks and are likely to unload a number of pieces in an attempt to rebuild moving forward and there certainly will be a laundry list of suitors for some of the top end players with expiring contracts. Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle are more than likely to be shipped out of town and Oliver Ekman-Larsson has drawn interest as well but the return and asking price will likely be too high for most teams and the young Swede will likely remain in the desert at least until season's end. Arizona takes to the road tonight where they are 11-15-3 and will face off against a Colorado side that has struggled of late but needs to get back in the win column if they want to maintain their playoff aspirations.
Colorado has been a bit of a disappointment this season as they have gone from division champions to battling for a wild card spot and sit in dead last in the Central division. However, unlike most divisions in professional sports being at the bottom of this one isn't a huge slight as some of the game's best teams reside there and all of them have a legitimate chance at making the postseason including the Avs who sit just eight points out of the playoffs. The Avs have a ton of talent offensively and could very well go on a run but the next two weeks will be absolutely critical for them as their play will determine whether or not they are buyers or sellers at the trade deadline and with guys like Ryan O'Reilly among others drawing a ton of interest the Avs could get massive returns for some of their top end players. As for tonight, I think the Avs make the first step in getting back in the playoff picture as they have the goaltending edge and just about everywhere else on the ice as well and being at home I think they win with ease here.