Colorado Avalanche vs. Detroit Red Wings
According to NHL betting odds Detroit is a -115 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. The game will be televised by the NHL Network. Detroit has won 4 of their last 5 home games versus Colorado. The Red Wings are currently 5th in the Atlantic Division, and tied for 9th overall in the Eastern Conference. Colorado is 3rd in the Central Division and tied for 4th overall in the Western Conference.
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!
The Colorado Avalanche is unquestionably the biggest surprise of any team in the NHL this season. This is a club that finished dead last in the Western Conference a season ago, and this season, and are now currently just 3-points out of 1st place in the Central Division with just 20 regular season games left to play. It would be an absolute shocker if Patrick Roy isn’t awarded the Jack Adams Trophy as the “NHL Coach of the Year”. Roy has lead a remarkable turnaround from a season ago, and all this being accomplished in his first ever stint as a NHL head coach.
An ATM Machine on the Road
The Colorado Avalanche has earned the 3rd most points on the road in the NHL this season. As a matter of fact they trail the Anaheim and Chicago by just 1-point each in that category. Colorado has gone a stellar 19-11 versus the money line on the road this year, and they’ve earned 40 of 60-points possible.
An Offensive Onslaught
Colorado enters tonight having won the last 3, and 13 of their last 18-games. The Avalanche has generated a ton of offense of late scoring 23-goals over their last 5-games, and accumulating 4-goals or more in the last 5, and 7 of their last 10-games. Colorado has gone over the total in the last 5, and 12 of their last 15-games. They’re 6th in the NHL averaging 3.0 goals per game, and 5th on the power play converting on 21.1% of their chances.
Wings Ravaged by Key Injuries
The list of injuries for the Detroit Red Wings has continued to grow, and there’s been no shortage of key players that aren’t included. The Red Wings will once again be without the services Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg tonight. Zetterberg currently leads the team in scoring, and was hurt early in the Olympic tournament while playing for Sweden. He recently underwent surgery for a herniated dic and will miss 6 to 8-weeks. Pavel Datsyuk injured his knee in late December, and isn’t expected to return for 3 to 4 more weeks. The list of casualties which were expected to be key contributors is namely Stephen Weiss, Daniel Cleary, Darren Helm, and Mikael Sammuelson.
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Keeping Things in Perspective
Despite all the injuries the Red Wings are still just 1-point out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. In a NHL scheduling oddity the Red Wings will play home games on consecutive nights. Following tonight’s game they will host the New Jersey Devils on Friday. This will be their first game at home after playing 5 straight on the road. Detroit went a respectable 3-2 during those 5-games. Detroit has been a very good road team this season going 17-14 versus the money line, and earning 38 of 62-points possible. Unfortunately they’ve inexplicably struggled at home going just 11-19 versus the money line.
Detroit is just too banged up right now, in addition to their lack of productivity at home, doesn’t exactly gain one’s confidence to wager on them as a home favorite versus a quality opponent. This is a Colorado Avalanche team which is playing with a plethora of confidence right now, and is one of the best road teams in the NHL. Our NHL pick goes to the road underdog in this spot.
Free Pick: Colorado +105 over Detroit