Colorado Avalanche (26-24-11) at Dallas Stars (27-25-9)
|Date & Time||Friday February 27, 2015, 8:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Dallas Stars -135 / Colorado Avalanche +122 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Colorado Avalanche are in dire straits right now, along with their opponent on Friday night. Both the Avalanche and the Dallas Stars sit seven points out the playoff picture in the Western Conference with more than one team ahead of them. With just 21 games remaining it doesn’t look like Patrick Roy is going to have this club in the playoffs this year. Colorado had won four of five games heading into Tuesday night’s match up with the Nashville Predators, but they were out classed by a much better team. Nathan MacKinnon gave the Avalanche an early 1-0 lead with his 13th goal of the season, but Colorado was steamrolled from there. The Predators scored twice in the second period to break a 1-1 tie and two more in the first 8:28 of the third period to give them a four goal lead. John Mitchell would add a power play goal for the Avalanche with under two minutes remaining in regulation to make it a 5-2 final. Semyon Varlamov took the loss after allowing four goals on 24 shots and getting the hook from Roy. The loss dropped him to 18-16-7 on the season with a 2.65 goals against average that ranks him dead last in the National Hockey League. The Avalanche are another club that has some pieces that could be moved at the trading deadline. Sources are saying that the Avalanche are unlikely to move Ryan O’Reilly but there will be a lot of teams calling and asking about him before Monday. Colorado is still a young team that doesn’t necessarily need a massive overhaul heading into next season, but they would like to find a way to shore up that defense a little bit. They also need to determine if they believe that Varlamov is their goaltending of the future after what has been a very lackluster season.
The Dallas Stars are in the same position as the Avalanche heading into the deadline and it’s disappointing after the start to the season that they had. Dallas is just 4-5-1 in their last 10 games, have lost four straight overall, and five of their last six. The Stars have allowed 22 goals during the four game losing streak as their defense has just completely fallen apart. Tuesday night in Winnipeg the Stars actually did a good job of preventing a lot of opportunities for the Jets, but it still wasn’t enough in the 4-2 defeat. Erick Cole and Jason Demers scored for the Stars, and Jhonas Enroth took the loss after allowing three goals on 21 shots. Dallas is 28th in the league in goals against per game, with only the Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes behind them. With an offense that ranks fourth overall in goals per game all it would have taken this club is a competent defense and they would most likely be a playoff team this year. Their goaltending is a mess on top of that with Kari Lehtonen’s numbers dropping off a cliff. Lehtonen has made the third most saves of any goaltender in the league this year but he’s 33rd in save percentage and 37th in goals against average.
This is one of those games where you just flip a coin or stay away. Neither one of these teams does anything well enough on a consistent basis to give them an edge. One thing that they do both do is allow a lot of goals.