Colorado Avalanche (30-12-5) at Nashville Predators (21-21-7)
|Date & Time||Saturday January 18, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
|Location||Unknown Location Unknown Address|
The Line: Nashville Predators -110 / Colorado Avalanche +100 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Avalanche look to keep pace in the Central division as they head into Nashville to take on the Predators and their new goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
The Avalanche have been one of the bigger surprises this season as they went from selecting first overall in July to a Central division contender midway through this season and are poised to get back to the playoffs. Colorado was never a bad team just once that couldn’t find any consistency in their game last year but they were certainly not short on talent as the likes of Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, and Paul Stastny were all on the roster a year ago. Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic have come in to give the team an identity and they have ran with it this year and to me the Avalanche are a team that has a great shot at pulling off a first round upset over one of the West division leaders. Colorado heads into Nashville looking for their fourth win in a row and will look to exploit former Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk who is getting his first start with his new club.
The Predators have been looking for a replacement to Pekka Rinne all season long as the Finnish national has been out with injury and is a huge part of the team’s success and while they tried Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec neither has been able to take over the starter’s role. Dubnyk was a highly touted prospect as his large frame put a unique twist on the position that certainly gives him and advantage over others but he never panned out in Edmonton as both ends of the relationship could never find a common ground. This is a very tough game to call as Dubnyk would love to show the Oilers made a mistake by trading him and playing in his first game with a new team on home ice will certainly give him motivation but how invested will the crowd be in Nashville and will that make a difference? Also, the Avs are very familiar with Dubnyk from their days in the former Northwest division and I think their familiarity with his game will be the difference here.