Emblematic of a team with 13 Stanley winners, the St. Louis Blues not only defied the odds but also the balance of play to equalize late in Game 5, notch the winner in overtime and extend the series.
Even after the Blues won Game 5 in miraculous fashion, NHL playoff odds still have the Avs as massive -833 favorites to wrap up the series.
The Blues, who started to chip away at Colorado’s once-resounding series lead, are still significant +550 underdogs.
Here are some NHL betting picks and analysis for the matchup.
Avalanche vs. Blues Odds, Moneyline, Over/Under
Moneyline: Avs (-175) | Blues (+145)
Spread: Avs -1.5 (+135) | Blues +1.5 (-167)
Total: 6.5 Over -115 | 6.5 Under -105
Avalanche vs. Blues Analysis
For most of Game 5, it looked like Colorado was destined to advance to the Conference Final for the first time since 2002. The Avs dominated early and, thanks to Nathan MacKinnon’s best playoff performance in which he scored a hat trick, got off to a 3-0 lead on home ice.
The Blues cut the deficit to two goals going into the third, providing what seemed like a mere glint of hope. The ice was tilted heavily in Colorado’s favor prior to the third, making what the Blues accomplished in the last 20 minutes and overtime all the more impressive.
It goes to show that a team like the Blues, with such pedigree, experience and mental fortitude, are never dead and buried.
The Blues’ third-period performance was easily the most impressive turnaround thus far in the postseason. Outplayed thoroughly for 40 minutes, St. Louis found a way to dig deep and peg the Avs back twice in the same 20-minute period.
The Blues tied the game only to see MacKinnon score one of the best goals of the playoffs with under three minutes to play. Most teams, after wiping out a two-goal deficit only to have the opposition take another late lead, would have surely capitulated under such overwhelming odds.
Not this Blues team, though.
MacKinnon, whose third goal late in the third was worthy of being a game and series decider, did everything in his power to prevent Game 6. But it wasn’t meant to be.
The Avs mustered just five shots on goal in the third period and were uncharacteristically tentative, hesitant, even unsure. Their tense and nervy end to Game 5 was a stark contrast to what has brought the Avs such emphatic success in the playoffs.
Now it’s time for Colorado to show their ability to win the big game in a hostile environment. The Avs will throw everything at St. Louis in Game 6, knowing anything can happen in a decisive Game 7.
Colorado has dominated the series five-on-five and must stay out of the penalty box if they are to eliminate the Blues on Friday.
Oftentimes a turnaround as timely and unlikely as what transpired in the third period in Game 5 can alter the very fiber of a series. St. Louis hopes that’s the case as the anticipation builds for Game 6.
However, momentum during the current postseason has been unconventionally fleeting.
Rarely has it carried over from one game to another. If it does, St. Louis has the advantage going into Friday’s pivotal game.
The Avs, though, have been the better team overall and will have another shot to show their mettle as Stanley Cup favorites. They won’t waste another opportunity to advance to the Conference Final for the first time in 20 years.
Look for Colorado to win Game 6 and finish off a resilient Blues team.
Avalanche vs. Blues Best Bets
Spread: Blues +1.5 (-167)
Moneyline: Avs (-175)
Total: Over 6.5 (-115)