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Morning Skate: Feed the Mule

A preview of tonight's game (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
A preview of tonight's game (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The losing streak is over

But it doesn't mean we're out of the slump just yet.

Sure this team scored five goals and shutout the Ducks for their first win in almost two weeks, but that means absolutely nothing if they lay an egg and lose again tonight.  It's all about building off Saturday night and continuing to play at a top level.  In order to do that, this team needs to feed the Mule.  

We all know how streaky of a goal scorer Johan Franzen can be and right about now is the perfect time for him to go on a hot steak.  He played very well against Anaheim.  He was shooting.  He was physical.  He was playing smart hockey.  This team needs him to be their go to guy right now and we all know he can do it against the Avs.  The Mule needs to channel is Avalanche Killer Mode from the 2008 postseason.  Nine goals in four games?  Two hat tricks?  Let's feed the Mule tonight and reap the rewards.

Mile High Hockey is your SBNation Avalanche blog.

Puck drop is just after 7:30p ET

The Expected Lineup

Danny Cleary -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Tomas Holmstrom

Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Johan Franzen

Justin Abdelkader -- Darren Helm -- Jiri Hudler

Drew Miller -- Cory Emmerton -- Fabian Brunnstrom


Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White

Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart

Jakub Kindl -- Jonathan Ericsson


Jimmy Howard (starting)

Ty Conklin


Scratches:  Todd Bertuzzi (sick), Patrick Eaves, and Mike Commodore

Injuries:  Jan Mursak (ankle)

As noted yesterday, Bert and Hudler both missed practice due to illness and are an likely to miss tonight's game.  Kindl is back in and Commie is back in the Leino Lounge.  Helm also missed practice yesterday, but is expected to be in the lineup tonight. UPDATE: Eaves is out, Hudler is in.


Avalanche HOW THEY MATCH UP Red Wings
7-6-1 Record 6-5-1
2.64 (15th) Goals Per Game 2.42 (22nd)
3.00 (23rd) Goals Against Per Game 2.42 (9th)
26.7% (1st) Power Play % 16.3% (T-18th)
75.6% (24th) Penalty Kill % 80.0% (T-19th)
Duchene/David Jones (5 goals) Goal Leader Franzen/Lidstrom (5 goals)
Duchene (11 points) Points Leader Franzen/Lidstrom (10 points)


  • The Red Wings have a 58-39-5-5 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time record against the Colorado Avalanche.
  • Detroit is 5-1-1 against the Avs in their last seven games.  They're 2-0-1 against  them at the Joe in that time.
  • Matt Duchene has four goals and three assists in his last five games against the Wings.  If the Wings are reading this, do us all a favor and play some defense against that guy, please.
  • Colorado has lost their last three games and five of their last six games.  Let's keep their losing streak going.
  • The Wings PK will be tested tonight.  The Avs had the league's top power play.  With Bert and Hudler potentially out, that means two guys prone to taking dumb penalties won't be on the ice.

Prediction: Wings win 5-2.  Of course, Franzen is your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.