Time: 9:00pm ET
Place: Ball Arena – Denver, CO
TV: BSDET, ALT
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket
Avalanche Blog: Mile High Hockey
After a tough road loss last night in St. Louis the road struggles take the boys in red to the mile high city and the (former?) hated Colorado Avalanche. Anything can happen when the teams step onto the ice, but on paper this one does not look too promising for the Wings.
Colorado comes into tonight’s match up averaging 5.2 goals per game in their five games in the month of December, including back to back seven goal out puts in their last two (wins over Philadelphia and the New York Rangers). For the season they are leading the league in goals for with 99 in 23 games. This is a team with a lot of talent and Stanley Cup ambitions. Up front they are lead by Nazem Kadri (11G, 23A), Gabriel Landeskog (9G, 26A), Mikko Rantanen (12G, 11A), and Nathan MacKinnon (2G, 16A in just 13 games played). They are a deep team up front as well, with the likes of youngster Alex Newhook, Andre Burakovsky, and former Red Wings Darren Helm logging regular time on in the bottom six and contributing (16G, 13A between the three, with Helmer having three of those goals). It does not get better when you look at Colorado’s blueline.
Defensively they are led by all world defenseman Cale Makar, with Devon Toews, Erik Johnson, and Samuel Girard rounding out a very strong top four. If there is a weakness on the Avalanche it is with their goaltending. Darcy Kuemper has started the lion’s share of the games but carries a .902 save percentage into the game tonight. Overall, Colorado has given up 79 goals on the season. That is just four more than the Red Wings going into last night’s game with St. Louis.
Colorado would be a tough game for Detroit at any point this season, but playing them on the back end of a back to back is a really tall order for this young Red Wings team. But hey, crazier things have happened.