This is a 1* free play on the Colorado Avalanche on the puck-line at Detroit on Monday night (7:30 EST).
These teams played on March 5th, and Detroit held on for the 2-1 victory. I believe tonight's game sets up as another hard-hitting, scrappy, competitive affair. Colorado is 12-18-4 overall, and just 2-13-3 on the road. The Avs though will look to build off their 1-0 home win over Nashville on Saturday, and take advantage of a discombobulated Wings side which has lost two straight, including a disturbing 7-1 setback to the Blackhawks yesterday (note that Detroit is interestingly just 8-9 this season vs. teams with a losing record). Detroit is 17-13-5 overall, and 9-6-3 at home. This is a brutal spot for the Wings, who are struggling right now in every facet of the game, getting outscored 9-1 over their current slide. Colorado's Semyon Varlamov stopped 34 shots last time out for his third shutout of the year, and there's no reason not to believe that he won't be at the top of his game tonight as well. ''Varly has been unbelievable,'' Avalanche center Matt Duchene echoed yesterday. ''He's been so consistent for us.'' It's a tough two game set for the Avs, who are in Nashville for the re-match tomorrow night. And because of that, I'm expecting Colorado to make the most of the situation it finds itself in coming into this one, and have no issues laying the price for the extra 1.5 goals of insurance.