Avalanche vs. Oilers Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 4 Free Picks

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The Colorado Avalanche can punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals with a win at the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of the West Finals on Monday. Which way to play at BetOnline, one of BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks

Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers

Monday, June 06, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Rogers Place

 

The Colorado Avalanche haven’t been to the Stanley Cup Finals since 2001 when they won the Cup. They can get back there Monday with a win in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at the Edmonton Oilers. The Avs are an excellent team, but I don’t think anyone really expected them to sweep Edmonton. I still don’t. 

On the updated series line, the Avalanche are -4000 favorites at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) and the Oilers +1800. The site actually has the Stanley Cup series odds up already with potential matchups: Colorado is -280 vs. the New York Rangers (+235) and -165 vs. Tampa Bay (+145). The Rangers lead that series 2-1.  

If there is a Game 5 of this series, it’s back in Denver on Wednesday. I expect the Avs to finish then. 

Only 4 Teams Have Blown 3-0 Lead 

I will gladly admit that I didn’t expect Colorado to win in Edmonton with backup goaltender Pavel Francouz on Saturday, but the Avs did, 4-2, to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. Teams that take a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven hold an all-time series record of 198-4 (.980) in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The last team to lose a series leading 3-0 was San Jose vs. Los Angeles in 2014. 

J.T. Compher’s fifth goal of these playoffs was the winner at 12:42 on the third Saturday, and then Mikko Rantanen (fourth) had the empty netter with 30 seconds left. That’s always the worry taking a team at +1.5 on the puckline: Empty-net goals are a crusher. Happened in Game 1, too.

Compher was the ninth different Colorado player to score a game-winning goal this postseason, which trails only the 2001 team (11) for the most in a single playoff year in franchise history. 

Francouz improved to 5-0 in these playoffs. The only goaltenders in Avalanche/Nordiques history to have a longer postseason win streak are Mario Gosselin (six in 1987) and Philipp Grubauer (six last year). It’s presumed Francouz will start again Monday over the injured No. 1 Darcy Kuemper.  

However, the news wasn’t all good. Forward Nazem Kadri left Game 3 with an injury early in the first period after a hit from behind by Oilers forward Evander Kane, who was given a five-minute major for boarding. 

"I was just coming around on the backcheck. Puck went wide, kind of dribbled into the corner. I know he likes to reverse it," Kane said. "I was just trying get a bump on him. That's all I did. Unfortunately, he went into the boards awkwardly and hurt his hands. But that was unfortunate." 

Kadri is not returning at all in this series even if it goes a while due to a broken thumb. He is fourth on the team with 14 points this postseason. Fellow forward Andre Burakovsky hasn’t played since being injured in Game 1. He did skate Sunday, but not clear if he will go.  

Colorado is 6-0 on the road in these playoffs, the only team in the NHL this postseason that hasn't lost a road game. 

Oilers Unbeaten in Elimination Games 

Edmonton is 2-0 in elimination games this postseason, winning 4-2 in Game 6 of the first round at the Los Angeles Kings and then 2-0 at home vs. the Kings in Game 7. Pretty surprising that the high-powered offense has been held to only eight goals in the first three games of this series. 

Connor McDavid’s ninth goal of the playoffs gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead early in the first Saturday and Ryan McLeod’s third tied it 2-2 at 7:34 of the third. McDavid leads all players with 30 points in these playoffs. He is the sixth different Oilers player to post 30 points in a postseason and the first in 32 years.

Teammate Leon Draisaitl is second with 29 but hasn’t had a point in the past two.  

Might coach Jay Woodcroft make a goaltending change? I tend to doubt it as Mike Smith has played relatively well the past two games after being pulled in Game 1. 

We mentioned Evander Kane above, and he has been suspended for Game 4. The league cited Kane's history, three previous suspensions and two fines, as factors in its final ruling. That’s big as Kane leads the NHL with 13 playoff goals. 

Fellow forward Kailer Yamamoto is in question. He suffered an upper-body injury (they never say what it is) in Game 2 and missed Game 3. He has seven points in 14 playoff games. 

"We're here to win a hockey game, and that message has been drilled into our team since Feb. 11," Woodcroft said following Sunday’s practice. "We're here to win one hockey game and take care of that day's business, and when you do that, outcomes take care of themselves." 

If you are wondering why Woodcroft mentioned Feb. 11, because that’s when he took over for the fired Dave Tippett. While Kane is a major loss for the Oilers, so is Kadri for the Avs. Simply think Edmonton gets one game. The Oilers are 20-6 in their past 26 at home. 

Score Prediction: Oilers 4, Avalanche 3 

NHL Pick: Oilers (+110) at BetOnline **note, I’d parlay with under the alternate total of 8.5 (-370)**  

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