The Colorado Avalanche are in Detroit on Monday for a date with the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. This used to be a highly anticipated matchup in the 90’s at the peak of the Avalanche and Red Wings rivalry. There were two seperate line brawls between the two squads in the late 90’s in 1997 and 1998. Mike Vernon and Patrick Roy fought in the first brawl, and Chris Osgood had an opportunity against Roy in the next bout.
It’s the most memorable moments from plenty of historic meetings between the Avalanche and Red Wings back then. The Avalanche won two Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001, while the Red Wings won in 1997, 1998, and 2002. Since the 2002 season, their rivalry hasn’t been the same, but it’s always a game to win when these two teams get together. A lot has changed since this was a bitter rivalry. The Red Wings aren’t a major contender any longer, though they did win another Stanley Cup in 2008.
The Avalanche are still looking for another Stanley Cup since their victory in 2001 over the New Jersey Devils. It doesn’t get much better than Patrick Roy against Martin Brodeur. The Avalanche are trying to get back to the top of the mountaintop in 2020, which could happen given they perform up to their full potential in the playoffs. When they’re playing like that, the Avalanche have the talent to beat anybody in the NHL. A healthy Avalanche roster is going to be a difficult out.
A banged up Avalanche team might be a different story, though. The Avalanche are trying to get healthier for the most important stretch of the season, which includes the playoffs that start in April. The Avalanche hope to have Mikko Ratanen back for the playoffs. However, at this point, it’s looking like his injury might cut into the early stages of the playoffs at least. Getting Ratanan back in mid-April might be a best-case scenario for the Avalanche. They should be getting Nazem Kadri back in two or three weeks, so he is likely good to go for the playoffs.
The Avalanche head into Detroit with a record of 39-18-7 and 85 points. They’re within reaching distance of the Blues who are ahead by 3 points in the Central Division. The Avs have played two fewer games than the Blues, which is a bonus. Treating the Red Wings lightly would be a good way to throw that out the window, though. The Red Wings are on yet another losing streak, as they hope to end a five-game skid on Monday night at home. Head below for our free Avalanche vs. Red Wings pick.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Detroit Red Wings Betting Odds:
Avalanche vs. Red Wings Prediction:
It can’t get any worse for the Red Wings. They’re in historically terrible territory, as they enter Monday with a record of 15-47-5 and 35 points. It appears that the Red Wings are going to be the only team in the league who don’t reach at least 50 points. Every team in the league has already eclipsed that mark, with the Kings at 56 points the closest team to the Red Wings. They made it a game against the Ottawa Senators in their most recent outing, though.
Detroit fell, 4-3, in a shootout to just miss out on their first win since mid-February. This after they were embarrassed by a score of 7-1 against the Minnesota Wild. The Red Wings recorded only three wins in the month of February, and it’s likely not going to get better for them in the final month of the regular season.
In the Red Wings’ previous ten games, they’ve gotten stung for 4.1 goals against per game. The offence did nothing to help out, as they were even more putrid with only 1.7 goals scored a game. It’s almost consistent with their overall productivity this season, though a bit worse in both regards. The Red Wings are 31st in goals scored and goals against, with 1.99 goals notched per contest and 3.78 goals against.
Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Bernier have shared the crease throughout the season, with Howard getting torched for a 4.20 GAA and 0.882 save percentage. Bernier has been the better of the two, but with a 2.94 GAA and 0.907 save percentage, there is no reliable option to rely on in net. With injuries to the Avalanche offence staring directly at them, the Avalanche have been getting excellent production out of their blueline. Jared Bednar has done a phenomenal job navigating getting the most out of his team without a healthy roster.
A large reason for the success is the standout defence that the Avalanche have been employing. They’ve turned into one of the most impressive defences in the league with some of their offensive weapons down. Give credit to Pavel Francouz as well. Francouz has been superb between the pipes, having posted a 2.24 GAA and 0.929 save percentage. He hasn’t allowed more than 2 goals since February 4 against the Lightning. Francouz has gone six straight starts with fewer than 3 goals allowed.
The Avalanche are 5th in the NHL with 2.67 goals allowed per contest. In their last ten outings, the Avalanche have given up just 1.8 goals per game. And on the road, they’ve seen a bump as opposed to the Pepsi Center, with only 2.39 goals allowed per game. That should be the difference versus a lifeless Red Wings’ offence on Monday night. If the Avs go into Little Caesars with the mindset that this is an automatic win, the Red Wings might catch them looking ahead. That is unlikely to be the case, though. Look for a 4-2 or 4-1 win for the Avalanche on Monday night in Detroit.