Colorado Avalanche v Dallas Stars: 2020 NHL Playoff Series Preview, Predictions & Picks

Daniel Wettstein previews the full Colorado Avalanche v Dallas Stars Series and picks out what to look out for in what should be a thrilling set of games.

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Coming off a 4-1 season series win where the Avalanche outscored the hapless Coyotes 22-8. One that saw my picks go 8-4, with 3 of those “L’s” coming in the one loss by Colorado. You can check my Twitter threads if you would like to fact check. Now the Avalanche go into another series with the same theme. The NHL’s top offense against another top-5 defense and goalkeeping team. Here is a break down of all the relevant stats for both teams:

ADVANCED STATS

Playoff 5-on-5 numbers via Natural Stat Trick

Colorado: 58.19 CF%, 75.00 GF%, 96.08 SV%, 7.79 SH%, 1.039 PDO

Dallas: 49.87 CF%, 51.61 GF%, 92.79 SV%, 7.51 SH%, 1.003 PDO

TEAM STATS

Colorado: 30.6 PP%, 88.0 PK%, 31 GF, 13 GA

Dallas: 20.0 PP%, 76.7 PK%, 25 GF, 27 GA

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD

Colorado: 0-2-2

Dallas: 4-0-0

There are many that will point to that head to head record as to why Dallas has an edge. But the bookies completely disagree and have the Av’s opening as a -162 favorite on DraftKings:

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They also have a great line on the Over of 5.5:

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I am going with the over despite the great D and goaltending of the Stars because of the way the way Kadri and MacKinnon completely thrashed Kuemper and the Yotes 4th ranked D/keeping as mentioned above. The depth of the scoring on this team may have never been seen before. They have legit scorers all the way through their 4th-line. And just let me remind you of these numbers for all that want to say Dallas is much better than the Yotes:

Colorado: 58.19 CF%, 75.00 GF%, 96.08 SV%, 7.79 SH%, 1.039 PDO

Dallas: 49.87 CF%, 51.61 GF%, 92.79 SV%, 7.51 SH%, 1.003 PDO

The Av’s are better by every metric. Add in the fact this is their #1 rival, there is going to be penalties. And this is where the Av’s shine with the #1 power-play unit in the league with 31 GF to just 13 GA with/against the advantage. Just as the Coyotes were picked apart by Kadri & company, the Stars will see the same fate. Especially when you see the Stars D and goaltending fall off a cliff in the power play with 25 GF vs. 27 GA.

This is another case of the traditional numbers can lead you astray. On paper with basic stats, these 2 teams seem evenly matched. You could even make an argument that Dallas should be the favorite. Once you break the surface though, as I just showed, the story is completely different. Even though the Stars are better at stopping goals than than the 4th-ranked Coyotes(Dallas finished ranked 2nd in the regular season). They are even worse at scoring them than the Coyotes(23rd) as Dallas ranked 26 out of 31 teams with a paltry 2.58 GF/PG. Just like Arizona, they rode a stingy D/goaltending combo all the way to the playoffs. And just like the Coyotes they will ride it right back on out.

Remember that the Av’s are 1 of only 5 teams that ranked in the top-10 in both GF/PG and GA/PG. The other 4 are:

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning (Won series 4-1)
  2. Boston Bruins (Won Series 4-1)
  3. Philadelphia Flyers (Lead Montreal 3-2)
  4. Winnipeg Jets (The only 1 of the 5 not to make the playoffs)

This lends itself to the Alternate Puckline on DraftKings as a 1 goal win by the Av’s is easy money:

Just like last series, I see the D/goaltending combo of Dallas to steal one as Colorado is still relatively young. Even though they did exhibit a killer instinct after that loss to the Coyotes in the first-round. They still have a tendency to lose focus now and again. This will, however, not be enough of an advantage for Dallas to stave off the avalanche of momentum Colorado is riding in the bubble. I will go ahead and do it, I will quote myself:

But, as with all things, there comes a breaking point when you beat on any structure long enough with relentless energy. Immovable Object meet Unstoppable Force, I put my money on the Force every time.”

I will also concur with myself and go with the Av’s in 5. Come back before the game for some player prop picks I find, as the options are still limited as of the writing of this article. As well as a Game 1 preview for this series with even more picks!

SPOILER ALERT!

Expect more of the same fun!

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