The San Jose Sharks will have home-ice advantage in their second-round matchup against the Colorado Avalanche, which begins on Friday night. The Sharks will be considered the favorites in this series, but the Avalanche were awfully impressive in their first-round upset over the Calgary Flames. Colorado lost all three games to the Sharks in the regular season, but they are a much better team.
Colorado lost Game 1 of their series against the Flames but responded by winning four straight games in dominating fashion. The Avalanche finished the regular season with 90 points to earn a Wild Card spot. The San Jose Sharks looked dead in the water near the end of their Game 7 win, but they bounced back to stun the Vegas Golden Knights. San Jose recorded 101 points during the regular season. The Sharks are -140 over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of the series.
Avalanche Getting Great Work From Grubauer
The Colorado Avalanche struggled to stop opponents in the regular season, but that wasn’t the case in their first-round series. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer came out of nowhere to stop 94 percent of the shots that he faced and allowed just two goals per game to the Flames. Colorado allowed three goals per game during the regular season, but they were sharp on defense in round 1.
Mikko Rantanen was the offensive star for the Avalanche during the regular season and kept that going in the playoffs. Rantanen had five goals and four assists during the five games in the first round. Nathan MacKinnon is widely considered one of the best young players in the league, and he chipped in with five assists. Colorado also scored five power-play goals in their win over the Calgary Flames.
Sharks Can Really Score
The San Jose Sharks are loaded with talent, and that talent was on display in their first-round series against the Golden Knights. San Jose tallied 23 goals in that series and scored four goals in a five-minute span in Game 7. Defenseman Erik Karlsson led the team with nine points in that series, and center Logan Couture chipped in with eight. The Sharks are facing a very hot goalie in Grubauer, but they certainly have the offense to get some goals past him.
Martin Jones and Aaron Dell split time in net during the first round, and neither of them was very effective. The two goalies gave up a whopping 25 goals against the Golden Knights, and they will have to be much better than that against the Avalanche. Jones did get all four wins for the Sharks in the first round and will likely be in net in the series opener.
San Jose Wins Game 1
The Colorado Avalanche have had a long break since their upset win in the first round, and it might take them some time to find their rhythm. San Jose will have a ton of momentum after their thrilling Game 7 victory, and that will propel them to a series-opening win in this game. The Sharks have a ton of offensive talent, and they will find a way to solve Grubauer. Bet the San Jose Sharks -140 over the Colorado Avalanche.