Los Angeles Kings (31-22-6) at Colorado Avalanche (37-16-5)
|Date & Time||Wednesday February 26, 2014, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Colorado Avalanche -116 / Los Angeles Kings +105 --- Over/Under: 5
The Kings and Avalanche do battle from the Pepsi Center in Denver as both teams look to close the gap and improve their playoff standing in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles heads into Colorado on Wednesday night in their first action in two weeks following the Sochi Games and they’ll look to ride the momentum of some of the tournament’s top performers. It is without question that Kings’ defenseman Drew Doughty was a catalyst in Canada’s capture of Olympic gold as was forward Jeff Carter who was all over the ice creating opportunities. Jonathan Quick was instrumental in the United States’ effort that was ultimately overshadowed by a sloppy bronze medal affair but Quick if given the chance tonight will have an opportunity to make amends. The Kings sit third in the Pacific division at the moment but are in a battle with the Coyotes for that spot as they are unlikely to chase down the Sharks for second spot and will end up having to travel in the first round. Martin Jones is likely to get the nod if the Kings want to give Quick another night to recover which seems to be the case for most Olympic participants thus far.
The Avalanche head into the home stretch of the regular season as one of the biggest surprises in the league as they sit in third place in the Central division and have a staggering 79 points through 58 games. Colorado will look to hunt down the Blue and Blackhawks in the division race which is obviously no easy task but with the way they have played so far this season it is more than plausible and this will be a tough team to defeat come playoff time. I think the Avs will go after a defenseman at the trade deadline at the very least and a possible upgrade in their top six could also be on the horizon as the likes of Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic know what it takes to win the Stanley Cup. This should be a very exciting contest between two of the better teams in the game and while I am a sucker for the Kings and think they’re way better than even their relatively respectable record indicates I think the Avs are getting slighted here. Colorado is 11 points better than LA at the moment and if it comes down to Giguere against Jones I will take the veteran over the relatively unproven youngster and the home team.