National Hockey League action on Sunday afternoon and the Atlantic Division will hookup with the Central Division as the Detroit Red Wings invade the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado to rumble with the Colorado Avalanche. The Red Wings are off a 4-2 road loss to the Ducks, while the Avs are off a 4-2 home loss to the Predators. Goalie Probables: The Red Wings will be sending out Jimmy Howard and the Avalanche will counter with Semyon Varlamov.
Skid At Nine With Loss To The Ducks
Stick a fork in them as they are done. The Detroit Red Wings have now lost their last nine games in a row after falling to the Anaheim Ducks on the road by a score of 4-2. The Red Wings are now 17 points out of the 8th slot in the Eastern Conference and they have just 10 games to go after this one. They will now miss the postseason for the 2nd year in a row after making the postseason in their previous 25 years. The offense is their issue at the moment as they have scored an average of just 2.00 gpg over their last nine games, but they have also struggled at the other end of the ice as they have allowed four goals or more in seven of their last eight games. This team has many issues at the moment. Scoring in the loss to the Ducks was Mike Green, which was his 8th of the year and Gustav Nyquist, which was his 9th of the year. The Red Wings have gone 13-23 on the road and they have averaged 2.61 gpg and have allowed 3.22 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Ducks was Jimmy Howard, who allowed four goals on 36 shot attempts to fall to 18-33 with a 2.87 GAA and a .909 save percentage on the year, while on the road he has gone 6-15 with a 3.01 GAA and a .905 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 93-101 with a 2.59 GAA on the road and 49-52 with a 2.58 GAA against the Central Division, while against the Avs he has gone 8-6 with a 2.56 GAA.
The Red Wings have been a poor offensive team so far as they come in ranked 29th in the league in scoring at 2.52 gpg, while also ranking 29th in shots taken (30.1 spg) and 22nd in power play conversions, converting on 18.0% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been below average so far as they check in at 21st in goals allowed, giving up 3.07 gpg, while also ranking 17th in shots allowed (32.0 spg) and 22nd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 21.6% of their chances.
Avs Can’t Slow The Preds Down
The Nashville Predators are clearly the best team in the Western Conference and they have been very hot of late. The Colorado Avalanche had a chance to cool them off some, but they ended up losing at home by a score of 4-2 on Friday night. The Avalanche were the worst team in the league last year, so this year has to be considered a success, but they would still like to make it to the postseason and they have a shot as they are currently tied with the Stars and Ducks for the 7th spot in the West. They are playing the lowly Red Wings in this one and it is a game that they cannot afford to lose. Scoring in the loss to the Ducks was Nathan MacKinnon, which was his team-leading 36th of the year and Gabriel Landeskog, which was his 23rd of the year. The Avalanche have gone 24-11 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.63 gpg and have allowed 2.43 gpg in those games.
Absorbing the loss against the Predators was Semyon Varlamov, who allowed three goals on 27 shot attempts to fall to 20-20 with a 2.77 GAA and a .916 save percentage on the year, including 12-7 with a 2.33 GAA and a .930 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 109-91 with a 2.44 GAA on the road and 30-22 with a 2.90 GAA against the Atlantic Division, while against the Red Wings he has gone 2-6 with a 3.03 GAA.
Colorado has been solid on offense so far as they come in ranked 8th in the league in scoring at 3.17 gpg, while also ranking 30th in shots taken (29.4 spg) and 16th in power play conversions, converting on 20.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, have been a bit below average so far as they come in ranked 16th in goals allowed, giving up 2.92 gpg, while also ranking 25th in shots allowed (33.0 spg) and 2nd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 15.9% of their chances.
- 20-45 in their last 65 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- 1-9 in their last 10 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation
- 8-3 in their last 11 vs. the Eastern Conference
- 4-1 in their last 5 vs. the Atlantic
This is a game that the Avs need to win as they just can’t afford to lose to a team that has lost their last nine games in a row. The Avs have been a strong home team this year, while the Red Wings have gone just 13-23 on the road. Detroit can’t score at the moment and that is not good news here as they have allowed four goals or more in seven of their last eight games, while the Avs have averaged a solid 3.63 gpg here at home. Detroit has packed it in and I see a desperate Colorado team coming up with a big home win in this one, even though Detroit has played well in this series over the years.