… So this is the second time we’ve seen the Avs this season, with the first being the road opener a month ago. The Wings won that one 3-0 in front of Ty Conklin.
… That was the Avs’ season opener. Since then, they’ve gone 7-5-1 en route to a third place spot in the Northwest Division, behind Minnesota and Edmonton.
… They’ve lost three in a row, though they gained a point in their 7-6 loss to the Stars on Friday. Their last win came against the Kings on October 30th. They’re just 1-4-1 in their last six and so have had troubles of their own since rebounding from their loss to the Wings with a five-game win streak.
… The Avs are a bit different in goal this year, with Semyon Varlamov, tonight’s starter, and JS Giguere. Neither guy is all that scary, which probably means Varlamov will shut the Wings out tonight or something.
… Looks like the Avs are healthy. Lucky them.
… The Wings stopped a skid at six games Saturday with a 5-0 win over the Ducks. Tonight they have a chance to further convince us they’ve turned over a new leaf and put that skid further in the rearview mirror.
… They’ll have to do it without Patrick Eaves and Todd Bertuzzi again, as both are scratches. Todd’s been sick and Hobo’s been battling back soreness. Brunnstrom will be in again and should be looking to build on a solid performance against the Ducks.
… Kindl’s back in for Commodore.
… Jimmy Howard gets another start tonight. By my count, he’s 4-2-1 after shutouts in his career.
… The Wings took a big step in the right direction with a cathartic win over the Ducks. They need to use the other foot now and follow up that effort with maybe an even better one tonight. The Avs are in a rough patch, but even with the decline in the rivalry to near-zero, they’re sure to get up for this one. A strong Red Wing effort should be more than enough to repel that and come out on top. Let’s hope they bring it.