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Red Wings-Avs Morning Skate

The Red Wings invade Denver for an MLK Day matinee trying to end yet another losing streak.

Darren McCarty fights for position with Joe Sakic Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images/NHLI

Time: 3:00 PM EST

Place: Pepsi Center

TV: FSD, NHL Network, Altitude

Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket/1270 AM

Avs Blog: Mile High Hockey


It’s deja vu for the Red Wings as they are once again riding an ugly losing streak. It’s only four-games this time, but they’ve been outscored 19-5 during this stretch. They are now on pace for 47-points. Bright spots: Still not much. I guess Jimmy Howard has been better since getting shelled on the Island last week. He’s stopped 69 shots out of 74 the last two games, which is a vast improvement from his season. With Jonathan Bernier likely still out, Howard turning the page on just an abysmal season could be helpful. As for players, there’s not much going right. Filip Zadina is showing glimpses of the offensive weapon he can become in the future. Larkin is waking up a touch with 10 points his last 11 now as well. However, that’s about it for the Wings at the moment. It also sounds like Valterri Filppula has a 50/50 chance to go today after leaving Saturday’s game vs. Florida early with an injury.


As for the Avalanche, they were 2nd in the West and just three points out of 1st in the Central on December 18. Since then, they have gone 5-6-3. They still are 2nd in the Central, because the division is terrible this year, but now find themselves eight points behind the Blues for 1st. They are led by the usual suspects as well with Nathan Mackinnon posting 70 points in 48 games, followed by Makar, Rantanen, Landeskog and Burakovsky. Superstar rookie D-man Cale Makar not only leads all rookies with 35 points, but is tied for 8th among all NHL defenseman. One of the biggest concerns for the Avs is goaltending. Phillip Grubauer still is the #1 goalie, but he’s just 14-10-4 and carries a 2.82 GAA and .910% this year. However, back-up goalie Pavel Francouz has been the better net-minder this year as he is 11-4-2 with a 2.41 GAA and .926%. With Grubauer playing the last three, and teams using their back-up goalie vs. the Red Wings has been the case this year, I expect to see the back-up Francouz in net today.

Projected Lines

Red Wings

Bert-Larkin-Zadina
Erne-LGD-Fabbri
Abby-Filppula-Smith
Helm-Ehn-Perlini

Nemeth-Green
Ericsson-Hronek
Biega-Bowey

Howard
Pickard


Avalanche

Landeskog-Mackinnon-Rantanen
Nichushkin-Kadri-Burakovsky
Calvert-Bellemare-Compher
Nieto-Jost-Kamenev

Graves-Makar
Girard-Johnson
Cole-Zadorov

Francouz
Grubauer