Detroit Red Wings at Colorado Avalanche
Detroit will attempt to avoid its first four game regulation-losing streak in eight years as it heads to snowy Denver to conclude a five game western swing. Colorado hopes to continue Detroitís misery and extend their winning streak to four games and start moving up in the rugged Northwest division. First the Avalanche must overcome a few demons lurking against the Red Wings.
Starting in the late 1990ís and carrying over into this century, this was one of the best non-division rivalries in the NHL as these teams were the favored choices to win the Western Conference. In recent times, things have been one-sided with Detroit having won six in a row and eight of the last nine meetings with Colorado. Included are four consecutive wins at the Pepsi Center.
What has made this losing streak so arduous is how the defeats have come for Detroit. At San Jose, the Red Wings stormed to a 3-0 first period lead, only to give up nine, thatís correct, nine unanswered goals in 9-4 loss to Sharks. A similar occurrence at Los Angeles the very next game, as they saw 2-0 lead dissipate and 4-2 loss was incurred.
Colorado has the 18-year veteran Joe Sakic as its leading scorer, with the rest of the players a cast of relative unknowns outside the city of Denver. The Avs power play is still a bit above average, ranked 13th. Detroit continues to stumble after a hot start having fallen to 23rd, with a conversion rate of 15.6% in man advantage situations. If the Red Wings are going to snap of power play slump, this would seem to be the game, as Colorado is ranked just 27th when down a skater.
Colorado is still a slight -115 money line choice with heavy action an Under 6 goals (-135). Despite the Avalanche failures against Detroit, they are still 10-4 Against-The-Spread facing good offensive teams - scoring 2.85+ goals a contest this season. The Red Wings have had outstanding success against clubs like Colorado who have marginal winning record, with 21-7 Against-The-Spread mark when playing against winning teams with win percentage between 51% to 60% over the last 2 seasons.
With a tight game expected, the casino page is worth reviewing for additional keys to the game. The Versus Network has tonight NHL action starting at 9 Eastern.
About the Author: Bob is an experienced sports writer and handicapper who has written for the sports industry for over a decade. He has been a regular contributer to Sports Scene, a sports consultant for television's 33 Made and other major motion pictures.