Colorado Avalanche vs Florida Panthers Picks: Hammer The Over
For the Colorado Avalanche, it hasn’t been the start that they were hoping for. They finished with the most points during the regular season in 2021, and so far through their first three games they are only 1-2. Obviously, it’s still early but expectations are sky-high for this team.
Florida is the exact opposite. They were good last year but bowed out in the first round of the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now this year they look primed to take that next step and they’ve been unreal out of the gate.
After beating Tampa Bay on the road on Tuesday, they’ll host one of the Western Conference’s best teams tonight. Let’s get you primed and ready for this one.
Colorado Avalanche vs Florida Panthers Preview
One of the biggest questions for Colorado was if they would be able to keep Captain, Gabriel Landeskog or if he’d be lost in free agency. He was able to reach an agreement to remain with the team, and even scored a goal in their first game of the year but also was suspended due to a hit he had on Kirby Dach of Chicago. Well, he makes his return to the lineup tonight which should help Colorado offensively.
In net, Colorado features a new goalie in Darcy Kuemper. The 31-year-old Kuemper was excellent during his tenure in Arizona but has been off to a slow start with his new team. In three starts he has an .890 save percentage with a 3.79 goals against average. In the two losses, he’s been downright bad allowing nine goals combined over that span.
Tonight, he faces a difficult test in Florida. The Panthers’ offense ranks fourth in the NHL and they’ve scored 14 goals in their three games (an average of 4.7 goals per game). Six of their skaters are currently playing at a point per game pace or better. I understand it’s early but even three games into the season that’s an impressive thing to see.
Aleksander Barkov is leading the way though with five points (2 goals, 3 assists). He’s lived up to the extension so far that he just received, which has surprised nobody who's watched him closely over the last few seasons in Florida.
In net, both Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer have been excellent as they have combined for a .944 save percentage and a 1.99 goals against average. I know Colorado has started slow but the Panthers likely face their biggest test at this point of the season tonight.
I don’t have a feel necessarily for who is going to come away with the win, but one thing I am confident in is the goal total. The number is set at 6.5, which is massive, but with these two offensive juggernauts, they should clear it.
In the Avalanche's last 15 games, they’ve hit the over 10 times, and looking back at Florida’s last six they’ve hit the over five times. Both Florida and Colorado are top-10 in scoring chances for percentage and both are in the top-15 in high danger chances for percentage.
If you want to include the 2020-2021 numbers, which is fair because it’s so early in the year, Colorado was first and Florida was fourth in goals for percentage. I’m fully confident in the lamp getting lit more than a few times tonight.
Colorado Avalanche vs Florida Panthers Picks
Over 6.5 goals (+100)