NHL Hockey Betting: Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche

NHL Hockey Betting:  Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche

The Nashville Predators have been a very erratic and inconsistent team all season. When they play up to their abilities they’re as good as any team in the league. When they don’t, they look like a bottom half of the table AHL team. This is a game that they shouldn’t lose, however, as they head West to take on the bumbling Colorado Avalanche. Nashville is currently in fourth place in the Central Division just two points back of third place St. Louis. They’re 10 back of second place Minnesota and 12 back of first place Chicago. They’re 4-4-2 in their last ten games but are facing the dregs of the NHL in this game. The Avs have a league low 27 points–no other team has less than 30–and have been abysmal at home with a 5-14-1 record. They’re also 2-8-0 in their last 10 games are are a statistical nightmare with the worst goals per game (2.0) and the worst goals per game against (3.3) in the NHL. Special teams are no treasure either with the 28th power play (13.3) and the 25th penalty kill (77.9). Overall, they’ve lost 18 of their last 21 games.

If there’s a semblance of good news for Colorado it’s the return of Semyon Varlamov from the disabled list. At the very least, it gives poor Calvin Pickard a break after he started 7 straight games. Varlamov didn’t look like much in his previous start, a 4-1 home loss to the Anaheim Ducks. There have been times when Varlamov has been as good as any goalie in the hockey. This isn’t one of them–he’s got a record of 6-15-0 with a 3.32 goals against average and a 0.901 save percentage. Varlamov has been confirmed for this game and will most likely face Pekka Rinne. Rinne, like the rest of his team, has been very erratic this year. Rinne has a 15-11-6 record with a 2.42 goals against average and a 0.919 save percentage.

This is the first game of a brutal five stop West Coast trip for Nashville with games here, at Vancouver, at Calgary, at Edmonton and at Minnesota. At the same time they’ll catch a scheduling break as they’ll have three days between this game and the next game, 1/17 at Vancouver. If the Preds play even some semblance of how they’re capable they’ll win.