Colorado Avalanche (52-22-8) at Minnesota Wild (43-27-12)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 24, 2014, 9:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Minnesota Wild -140 / Colorado Avalanche +120 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Wild look to even up their series with the Avalanche after an overtime thriller went their way in game three on Monday night.
The Colorado Avalanche have been one of the game’s biggest surprises this season and a large part of their turnaround from last year’s debacle has been the play of goaltender Semyon Varlamov. The Russian national who has spent most of his career with the Washington Capitals has found his niche in Colorado and with one of the league’s best goaltenders of all time in Patrick Roy being his mentor there is no telling how far his game will continue to grow. The Avs are a very young team but are hungry at the same time and have been a very tough out for a lot of teams this season and as a result they were crowned Central division champions ahead of teams like St. Louis and Chicago. The Avs haven’t played particularly well in this series though outside of Varlamov and if they’re going to head back to Denver with some breathing room they’ll have to get back into the form that led them to their division title.
The Wild are a very pesky team and they demonstrated that in a big way on Monday night as they held the Avalanche offense in check and escaped with a 1-0 victory bringing them back into this series. Minnesota has been a very good team on home ice this season so they have confidence heading into tonight’s game four that they can keep up with the Avs who are still without Matt Duchene. Minny badly outshot the Avs in their game three victory which actually bodes quite well for Minnesota here as it is unrealistic to expect Varlamov to repeat what he did in that contest and while the Avs have a greater probability of solving Darcy Kuemper as well I think this game slightly favours the home side. I really don’t like the price as there is great value with Colorado in this spot and they could very well hand us free money by night’s end but I think when you compare both rosters that Minnesota has a slight edge and I think if they can get to Varlamov here they should be able to knot the series up.