The Colorado Avalanche nearly went wire-to-wire as the Stanley Cup favourite throughout the regular season and playoffs.

Now they are one loss away from elimination.

After taking a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven second-round series with the Vegas Golden Knights, the Avalanche have been pushed to the brink with three straight losses.

In Game 5 on Tuesday night, Colorado took a 2-0 lead into the third period, only to give up two goals in the first five minutes of the third and then lose the game on a Mark Stone winner in overtime.

Now the Avalanche need back-to-back wins over the Golden Knights, beginning with a victory in Game 6 in Vegas on Thursday night, just to advance to the third round.


Here is the Morning Coffee for Wednesday June 9, 2021.


Golden Knights rally for third straight win

Stone set a franchise record for the fastest overtime goal with the winner just 50 seconds into the extra frame of Game 5.

Vegas, which were +115 to win at puck drop, picked up the first road win by either team in the series.

Now the Golden Knights get the opportunity to clinch the series on home ice, where they outscored Colorado a combined 8-3 in Games 3 and 4.

Vegas is 3-1 all-time when leading 3-2 in a best-of-seven playoff series.

On the flip side, the Avalanche are 2-12 all-time when trailing 3-2.

Colorado went from the Stanley Cup favourite to the third choice at +400 following three straight losses to the Golden Knights.

Meanwhile, Vegas has emerged as the second choice to win it all at +225, behind only the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning at +200.

The Golden Knights opened as a -135 favourite for Game 6 on Thursday night. They’re now -315 to win the series with two potential chances to end it.

Meanwhile, fans of the Montreal Canadiens were watching closely last night as they continue to wait patiently to find out which team they will play.

TSN hockey analyst Mike Johnson weighed in on the Habs’ chances in a potential series against either the Avalanche or Golden Knights in the latest edition of The Inside Edge, including his pick for which team he thinks the Canadiens would match up better against.


Lightning back in final four

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 29 shots he faced as the Lightning (-120) beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 in Game 5 to advance to the third round.

Vasilevskiy became the first goalie in NHL history to register each of his first three career playoff shutouts in potential series-clinching games.

He’s now the favourite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy at +250.

With Vasilevskiy performing at such a high level, and the Lightning power play clicking at a remarkable rate, the defending Stanley Cup champs will be tough to beat.

Tampa Bay is currently +200 to repeat as champions. All things considered, I’m not sure how much longer they can remain at that number.


Mitchell, Jazz take Game 1 versus Clippers

Donovan Mitchell scored a game-high 45 points as the Utah Jazz (-150 ML) beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-109 in Game 1 of their second-round series.

It was Mitchell’s third-career 45-point playoff game, which is more than every single other Jazz player all-time combined.

It was the Clippers’ first loss on the road in these playoffs after they won all three games in Dallas in their opening-round series.

After taking Game 1, Utah is now -220 to win the series.


Embiid leads 76ers to Game 2 win

Joel Embiid scored a game-high 40 points to lead his team to victory as the Philadelphia 76ers (-6.5) beat the Atlanta Hawks 118-102 in Game 2 to even their best-of-seven series at 1-1.

Tobias Harris registered 22 points. Seth Curry scored 21.

It was the ideal response for a 76ers’ team that has covered in nine of their previous 12 home games.

With the series tied 1-1, Philadelphia is now -240 to advance.


Jokic wins NBA MVP

Nikola Jokic won NBA MVP following an absolutely dominant season for the Denver Nuggets.

Jokic posted a league-best 31.3 player efficiency rating this season – the fourth-highest mark by any centre in NBA history.

He became the first centre to win the award since Shaquille O’Neal won it in 2000.

He’s also the first player drafted in the second round to win MVP in the common draft era.

Jokic was +2500 to win MVP in the preseason, which matches Derrick Rose (2011) for the longest preseason odds for an MVP winner over the past 15 seasons.

After dropping Game 1 of their second-round series against the Phoenix Suns, the Nuggets are currently +1400 to reach the NBA Finals.

No other Western Conference team has longer than +300 odds to reach the finals.

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