Colorado Avalanche (50-21-7) at Edmonton Oilers (28-42-9)
|Date & Time||Tuesday April 8, 2014, 9:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Edmonton Oilers +129 / Colorado Avalanche -142 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Avalanche look to finish off the season in style as they head to the road to take on the lowly Edmonton Oilers.
Colorado has been one of the gam’e biggest surprises this season and are certainly the bounce back team of the year after they finished with one of the league’s worst records last season and landed the top overall draft pick. The overhaul wasn’t just on the ice as management brought in Patrick Roy to be the new bench boss who is up for coach of the year and Joe Sakic who should be considered for executive of the year with both former players in their first year on duty. The Avalanche are fighting tooth and nail with the Blackhawks in the Central division and while it is an inevitability that the two teams face off in the first round it is the Avs with the upper hand right now as they hold an edge for home ice advantage. Colorado will be without Matt Duchene for the foreseeable future which is a huge blow to their Stanley Cup chances but they have shown they can win without him and they’ll need to do so if they want to see him back in action later in the playoffs.
The Edmonton Oilers are in the midst of another disappointing season in which they will not have the luxury of competing for the Stanley Cup and are destined for another top end selection in the NHL Draft. The Oilers haven’t been competitive since losing the Stanley Cup finals against the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and have been league basement dwellers ever since but the off ice instability is as frustrating as the inconsistent play on the ice as the numerous coaching changes and personnel moves seem endless. Edmonton would love to play spoiler in this spot against an Avalanche team who is playing very well and one that is heavily favoured in this spot despite playing on the road. The Oilers have been playing better of late and have won back to back games but they haven’t shown any sign of fight against the league’s best teams and I don’t think it changes here much to Ben Scrivens’ dismay as I think he puts on another show.