Blue Jackets vs Avalanche Series Odds: NHL Teams Face-off in Finland

The NHL Returns to Finland for First Time Since 2018

The NHL’s Global Tour Finishes in Finland

The NHL’s 2022 Global Series concludes in Tampere this Saturday as the Columbus Blue Jacket and Colorado Avalanche meet in back-to-back contests at the Nokia Arena. The Blue Jackets vs Avalanche series odds favor Colorado to win both games and by quite a margin. It would be the first time since 2010 that one team swept the other. While Colorado is the superior team on paper, we can’t overlook the Blue Jackets.

Avalanche vs Blue Jackets

Date & Time:
Location: Nokia Arena Tampere

 

 

Colorado and Columbus Boast Finnish Firepower

The Blue Jackets vs Avalanche series odds heavily side with Colorado at -250 on the money line. Both teams do present plenty of Finnish talent for the local crowd to cheer for. The two main ones will be Mikko Rantanen for Colorado and Patrik Laine for Columbus. Both forwards are prolific NHL goal-scorers who will likely be favored to lead the NHL team stats this weekend.

Laine, who has battled injuries throughout the season, has not scored a goal since the Blue Jackets’ first game. The 24-year-old has 177 career NHL goals in 411 games. He once scored 44 goals in a single season back in 2017-18. Along with his compatriot, Joonas Korpisalo, Laine found some inspiration in his visit to a local children’s hospital. Check more NHL injuries.

“I feel like we’re living a pretty good life,” Laine said. “If we’re having bad days there compared to some other people going through stuff, it’s really nothing. It kind of gives you perspective of life.

As for Rantanen, the 26-year-old has picked up where he left off last season when he scored 36 goals and 92 points, both career-bests. Thus far, he has four goals and 11 points for the Avalanche.

Another Finn playing with Rantanen on the Avalanche is Artturi Lehkonen. The winger has six points this season and is slated on the first power-play unit with Rantanen. Acquired from Montreal last season, Lehkonen proved to be a clutch player for Colorado in the playoffs as he led the postseason with four game-winning goals.

Colorado to Cruise Past Columbus?

This is the NHL. While great teams play struggling ones, winning is never a guarantee. Hence, the Blue Jackets vs Avalanche series odds should be taken with a grain of salt as Columbus could upset Colorado. The Blue Jackets sit at the bottom of the ultra-competitive Metropolitan Division with a 3-7-0 record. The team has been an underdog in all but one of its games.

However, Columbus has beaten Colorado in five of their last seven meetings. Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins, who is struggling this season, has stopped 54 of the 58 shots he’s faced in two career games against Colorado. He’s also not allowed a power-play goal in this span.

Colorado has also not been as dominant this season with a 4-4-1 record. The team leads the NHL in power play percentage (39.3) but is struggling mightily on the penalty kill at 69.7 percent, 30th in the league. The Avalanche are also only 14th in corsi for percentage on 5-on-5 and 18th in scoring chance for percentage. This is why Colorado is only +2 as far as goal differential.

On top of this, you have to factor in Colorado’s long time off. The Avalanche have not played since last Saturday (October 29) although Colorado Avalanche news reveals mixed feelings from the team.

“We’re trying to find a rhythm here a little bit and practice time will help us in that regard,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said following their Tuesday practice at a local municipal rink. “We wanted to make sure we got the work done today before taking tomorrow.”

The NHL’s History in Finland

The NHL was last in Tampere in 2009 when the Florida Panthers edged the Tappara Tampere in a preseason game. This will be the NHL’s first regular season game in the Finnish city as the league usually holds their games in Helsinki.

The last regular season games to be played here had the Winnipeg Jets splitting their series with the Florida Panthers in 2018. Laine recorded a hattrick for the Jets in their first game. In 2011, the Sabres beat the Ducks 4-1. Local favorite Ville Leino scored for Buffalo. In 2010, the Hurricanes swept the Wild. And finally, in 2009, the first time the NHL hosted regular-season games in Finland, the Blackhawks and Panthers split their series.

Follow us on Twitter

Want more articles like this? Check these out:

Back to top button

Bet like a PRO!

Subscribe now and get Weekly Expert Free Picks