The 2018-19 NHL campaign was almost a tale of two seasons for the Colorado Avalanche. They tore up the league to start the season and at 16-6-5, sat among the top contenders in the Western Conference. Then a 6-17-6 slide saw the Avalanche slip right out of a playoff position. This skid was greased by some shoddy goaltending. In that 29-game span, Colorado surrendered at least four goals in 17 games.
Frankly, the Avalanche should be better than this. With Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and captain Gabriel Landeskog, in 2018-19 Colorado suited up its first trio of 30-goal scorers since the 1995-96 club, which had four (Joe Sakic 51, Claude Lemieux 39, Valeri Kamensky 38, Peter Forsberg 30). MacKinnon and Rantanen were the first Avalanche players to surpass 80 points by the end of February since Sakic had 88 in 2000-01.
The Avalanche power play rates among the top 10 in the NHL. Tyson Barrie is the all-time leading scorer among defensemen in the history of the Colorado franchise. But goaltending is the thorn in the Avalanche’s side. Semyon Varlamov is an unrestricted free agent and unlikely to be signed to a new contract, leaving the netminding duties in the hands of career backup Philipp Grubauer, who was acquired in the summer of 2018 from the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals with this future in mind.
Colorado’s propensity for wide-open, high-scoring hockey makes them an ideal player on the over in a total wager. The Avalanche are also a team that can never be counted out. They ranked among the NHL leaders in third-period goals in 2018-19. But the erratic nature of their play makes it difficult to know whether to bet on the Avs to win or to lose on a game to game basis. They were equally inept at home or on the road in 2018-19, so even the location isn’t a good measuring stick.
At PointsBet, you can wager on the Avs via the money line, puck line or total, but you aren’t limited to those choices. The sportsbook offers live betting options, featuring first, second and third-period markets, wins, total goals and first to specific goal barriers wagering.