Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, the Last Word on Hockey team discusses each game and breaks down everything expected for the matchup. This includes trends, issues, and matchups, with a prediction at the end. This week, the Conference Finals continue with only one game per day, and four teams left in the hunt. Tonight, Game 4 of the Colorado Avalanche vs Edmonton Oilers series takes place.
NHL Predictions with Colorado Avalanche vs Edmonton Oilers
Series: Avalanche 3 – 0 Oilers
If there’s one series in these playoffs that have been very surprising so far, this is the one. It was expected to be a very balanced matchup between two extremely talented teams. But things have not been good for the Oilers. To start with, Mike Smith is not playing his best. Throughout the first three games, Smith has a .879 save percentage and has allowed 13 goals. Defence isn’t helping but he needs to figure out if Edmonton wants to keep their loyalty to the veteran instead of replacing him with Mikko Koskinen. For Game 4, this should definitely be an option.
Another problem for Edmonton has been scoring. Colorado was able to hold Connor McDavid with only four points so far. Leon Draisaitl has only two. To add to that problem, Evander Kane will miss Game 4 with a suspension after a hit to Avalanche’s Nazem Kadri. Other players have stepped up like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Zach Hyman and Ryan McLeod. However, they’ll need to find a way to keep up with Colorado’s flood of goals every game.
Game 4 Is Win or Go Home
With their season on the line, it’s expected for Edmonton to make a big push to not be swept. Game 3 was by far the most balanced and the best effort by the Oilers so far. But the thing is, Colorado doesn’t always come out with the lower odds to win a game as it happened on Saturday. So this will be a very interesting game between these two teams.
The Oilers will have to find a way to stop all Avalanche lines – something they haven’t been doing very well. Game 3 was not won because Nathan MacKinnon was the best player on the ice. It was quite the opposite, actually. J.T. Compher had the game-winning goal. Now, Edmonton has to figure out a way to not only take care of MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Cale Makar and Devon Toews but also the third and fourth liners. It won’t be very easy.
With that said, the Avs will be missing Kadri, who’s incredibly important for the team’s structure. Without him on the lineup, Edmonton will likely be able to save their heads and push for a Game 5.
Prediction: Edmonton wins, 3-2 (OT)
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