- The Colorado Avalanche are the defending Stanley Cup champions.
- The Seattle Kraken made the NHL playoffs for the first time in 2023.
- Colorado will be without team captain Gabriel Landeskog for the 2023 playoffs.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche finished the 2023 NHL regular season as the No. 1 team in the Western Conference’s Central Division. Colorado earned that spot with a 51-24-7 record, which gave them one more point than the Dallas Stars. If the Avalanche hope to defend the Cup, the first step the team has to take is to eliminate the Seattle Kraken from the 2023 NHL Playoffs. The Kraken missed the postseason in their inaugural season in 2022, but the team improved a great deal in its second campaign, going from 27-49-6 to 46-28-8 and securing a wild card berth into the 2023 NHL playoffs.
The Avalanche have won the Stanley Cup three times: 1996, 2001 and 2022. The team did not make it back to the Stanley Cup Finals after its previous two wins, but the Avalanche did get close, losing in the Western Conference Finals in 1997 and 2002.
Before we look at the first-round matchup of the 2023 NHL Western Conference playoffs between the Colorado Avalanche and the Seattle Kraken, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 Stanley Cup and our tips for betting on the NHL.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Seattle Kraken betting picks for NHL Western Conference Playoff Series
|To Win 2023 NHL Western Conference Playoff Series|
Colorado Avalanche betting breakdown
The Avalanche enter the 2023 NHL playoffs with a 22-13-6 home record and a 29-11-1 mark on the road. Colorado wrapped up the 2023 NHL regular season with an 8-1-1 record in its final 10 games, and the team enters the postseason with wins in its two most recent games.
Nathan McKinnon had his first 100-point season in 2023. The 27-year-old forward put up 99 points in 82 games in 2019, but this year, McKinnon went for 111 points in 71 games with the Avalanche. McKinnon’s point total led the team, as did his 69 assists. Speaking of career-best seasons, Mikko Rantanen had his best goal-scoring year in 2023, putting the puck in the net 55 times to lead the team. His previous best came last year when he scored 36 goals. The only other Colorado player to score over 20 goals was Atturi Lehkonen, with 21.
Alexandar Georgiev will likely get the start in net for Colorado. The 27-year-old is in his first year for Colorado. He went 40-16-6 and had a 2.53 goals against average to go with a .919 save percentage.
Colorado will be without team captain Gabriel Landeskog for the playoffs. Landeskog missed the entire season following knee surgery in October.
Seattle Kraken betting breakdown
The Kraken head into the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs with a 20-17-4 home record. The team went 26-11-4 on the road and finished the season with a 6-4-0 mark in its final 10 games. Seattle enters its 2023 playoff series against the Avalanche on a two-game losing skid.
Jared McCann, who is in his eighth year in the NHL, and on his fourth team, had a career-best 70 points to lead the Kraken in scoring for the 2023 NHL regular season. McCann, who had never scored more than 27 goals in a season before 2023, netted 40 this year to lead the team in that stat as well. Vince Dunn had the most assists for the Seattle club in 2023 with 50. No Kraken player besides McCann scored more than 30 goals, but the team had 20-goal scorers in Matty Beniers (24), Daniel Sprong (21), Jordan Eberle (20), and Oliver Bjorkstrand (20).
Martin Jones seems to be the likely starting goaltender for the Kraken for the 2023 NHL playoffs. Jones went 27-13-3 on the season with a 2.99 goals against average and a .887 save percentage.
2023 NHL Regular Season: Head-to-Head
The Colorado Avalanche and Seattle Kraken played three tightly contested games during the 2023 NHL regular season. Seattle defeated the Avalanche in two of those contests, besting them 3-2 and 3-2 in OT. The Avalanche’s win came in a 2-1 shootout victory.
Avalanche vs. Kraken Playoff Series Schedule
Game 1 (at COL): April 18, 10 ET (ESPN)
Game 2 (at COL): April 20, 9:30 ET (ESPN)
Game 3 (at SEA): April 22, 10 ET (TBS)
Game 4 (at SEA): April 24, 10 ET (TBS)
Game 5* (at COL): April 26, TBD
Game 6* (at SEA): April 28, TBD
Game 7* (at COL): April 30, TBD
Best bets for the Colorado Avalanche vs. Seattle Kraken Playoff Series
The Avalanche don’t have the same team they did to win the Stanley Cup last year, but they do have some of the same players. And those players include Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar. That will be enough for Colorado to move onto the second round of the 2023 NHL playoffs. The best bet is to pick the Colorado Avalanche to beat the Seattle Kraken.
Pick: Colorado Avalanche to beat the Seattle Kraken in five games.
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