Colorado and Detroit were bitter rivals in the Western Conference just before and after the turn of the century. The rivalry resumes with favorable betting odds for the home team on NHL picks.
From 1996 to 2002, these two clubs won five of the seven Stanley Cups in that period. Though both squads have fallen off from those glory days, for the fans and players of that era, it will always be a special time. The hatred is no longer the same with Detroit back in the Eastern Conference and the head to head competition now less frequent, but in Joe Louis Arena this evening, a lot of long time season ticket holders still have no use for Colorado.
Here is breakdown of the matchup and the NHL odds have Detroit at -155 with total of 5.
For the most part, Colorado’s nickname, the Avalanche seems about right this season. Colorado has been fighting an uphill battle all season. The Avs started the season 3-8 SU and have keep working to reach or surpass .500 and every time they do, they end up going backwards. The latest is losing four of six to send record to 28-29 SU, with a combination of mediocre defense or lack of scoring or both.
Coach Patrick Roy has done his best to maintain calm, but the fact remains despite the changes to improve the defense, it has not helped enough, which is why they are 23rd in goals allowed at 2.8. With the game more specialized these day, if you expect to win you need to take advantage of power plays and kill penalties and Colorado has been weak on the latter. The Avalanche are also 23rd when a man down at 78.9 percent.
Offensively, the Avs are 12th in scoring with Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Carl Soderberg leading the way, but for the most part, they are not getting enough scoring from wingers when they have the chances.
With three consecutive victories, the Red Wings have moved into second place and are within six points of front-running Florida in the Atlantic Division. This is the not the Detroit team of 10-20 years ago who developed All-Stars at nearly every position and had reliable third and fourth line players who were not only better players than the opposition, but they worked harder.