NHL Thursday Night on The Ice: Florida Panthers Vs. Colorado Avalanche
The Ageless Wonder of the Hockey World
At 44 years young, Jaromir Jagr is defying the convention wisdom when people talk about player age and player regression. Jagr – around two weeks ago – became the oldest player in NHL history to score 20 goals in a season, in just 56 games as well. Jagr leads his team in points with 47 – through 60 games - and has the Panthers sitting atop the Atlantic division. Jagr is only on a one year contract, but he is expected to come back for at least another season.
Two Tight Battles
Both teams are engaged in increasingly tight playoff races this season where two points can change the standings’ picture overnight. At 68 points – the Avalanche are tied for last playoff spot in the West, but are on the outside looking in due to losing the games played tie breaker. The Panthers have seen their division lead dwindle to only 2 points after seeing their interstate rivals (the Tampa Bay Lightning) play much better since the beginning of the calendar year.
Florida Panthers vs. Colorado Avalanche
The Panthers – the favourite at -113, while Colorado sits at +102 – looks to move above .500 on their current 5 game road trip. At 16-10-4, the Panthers have been taking care of business on the road all season, while the Avalanche are only 14-14-4 in Denver for the season. Another advantage for the Panthers is Colorado’s struggles against the East. At 12-16-2, the Avalanche have fared much poorer against the Eastern Conference compared to the West – which they are a surprising 20-13-3 against. Florida beats Colorado in most major statistical categories including goals for, goals against and scoring efficiency. Considering all this, picking the Panthers on Thursday is a smart pick.
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