Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche Free NHL Picks & Odds
by Josh Schonwald - 4/16/2014
Thursday, April 17, 9:30 PM on CNBC, TSN
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
For Updated Odds on This Game Click Here
The top-seeded Colorado Avalanche will go into their series against the wild card Minnesota Wild as the favorites, but the Wild did have a good end to the regular season so it could be closer than many people think it will be. Colorado finished the season with 112 points, while Minnesota was fourth in the Central with 98 points.
There were some close games in the season series between the Avalanche and the Wild, but Colorado was able to win four of the five games with the Wild winning one in the shootout. In the last game of the season series, the Wild were able to get three third period goals, but the Avalanche were still able to pull off the 5-4 win.
The Wild don't have the best offense or the best power play, but what they do have going for them is a solid goaltender in Ilya Bryzgalov. The veteran netminder had two shutouts and five wins in his final seven games of the season, so Minnesota will be relying heavily on him to keep them in each game of the series.
Unfortunately for Colorado, they will have to play at least the first couple of games in the series without first line center Matt Duchene. The 23-year-old, who had 70 points during the regular season, is ailing with a knee injury and may not be able to play in this series at all.
Minnesota is 17-24 straight up on the road this season
Minnesota is 13-17-11 against the over/under on the road this season
Colorado is 26-15 straight up at home this season
Colorado is 18-21-1 against the over/under at home this season
Injuries to Watch
04/14/14 C Mikael Granlund Concussion probable Thursday vs. Colorado
04/13/14 GO Darcy Kuemper Upper Body questionable Thursday vs. Colorado
04/11/14 LW Michael Rupp Suspension expected to miss 1st three Rd 1 playoff games
03/26/14 D Keith Ballard Groin out indefinitely
03/12/14 LW Jason Zucker Quad out for season
03/05/14 GO Niklas Backstrom Abdominal out for season
01/06/14 GO Josh Harding Illness out indefinitely
04/15/14 D Jan Hejda Upper Body probable Thursday vs. Minnesota
04/14/14 LW Cody McLeod Ankle probable Thursday vs. Minnesota
04/14/14 C John Mitchell Concussion expected to miss Thursday vs. Minnesota
04/14/14 D Tyson Barrie Upper Body probable Thursday vs. Minnesota
03/31/14 C Matt Duchene Knee expected to miss 3-4 weeks
02/25/14 RW Milan Hejduk Personal has retired
02/20/14 LW Alex Tanguay Hip out for season
Josh's Pick: Take Colorado
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