Avalanche vs. Red Wings Preview
Detroit, MI - The Detroit Red Wings have been quite productive during the first week of the season.
A day after extending the contract of coach Mike Babcock, the Red Wings look to open with three straight wins for the first time in five seasons Tuesday night against the visiting Colorado Avalanche.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Red Wings –209 money line favorites for Tuesday's game against the Avalanche. Current MLB Public Betting Information shows that 83% of more than 370 bets for this game have been placed on the Red Wings -209.
Detroit (2-0-0) started 3-0 in 2005, Babcock's first season as coach. He then went on to become the first coach to have 50-win seasons in his first four with an NHL team, and guided the Red Wings to a Stanley Cup championship in 2008.
With his contract set to expire after this season, the Red Wings opted to sign Babcock to a four-year extension Monday.
"His stock as a head coach is probably as high as anybody's and he could've gone on the open market next summer,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
Babcock seems content with staying in Detroit, where the Red Wings are poised to regroup after finishing fifth in the Western Conference and losing in the semifinals to San Jose last season.
"I'm a big believer that the grass isn't always greener, you just need to use fertilizer and water where you're at,'' Babcock said. "We got a good thing going here and this contract means I won't have to move my youngest daughter in high school.''
Detroit's eight-season reign as Central Division champions came to end when the Blackhawks won the division on their way to a Stanley Cup title in June. The Red Wings got a little payback with a 3-2 win at Chicago on Saturday.
Valtteri Filppula had two goals while Todd Bertuzzi added a goal and an assist as Detroit won its road opener. Each player has a team-leading three points through the first two games. Filppula has seven goals and three assists in 16 games against the Avalanche.
Though Chris Osgood made 26 saves against the Blackhawks, Jimmy Howard could be in net for this contest after stopping 21 shots in a 4-0 win over Anaheim on Friday.
Howard is 2-1-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average against the Avalanche. Osgood has a 3.50 GAA while losing his last three starts versus Colorado.
Detroit has lost three of four at home to the Avalanche, but is in the midst of a 7-1-3 stretch versus Colorado at Joe Louis Arena.
After beating the Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime at home Thursday, Colorado (1-1-0) fell to the other Stanley Cup finalist, 4-2 at Philadelphia on Monday.
Brandon Yip and Milan Hejduk scored for the Avalanche in the opener of their five-game trip. Colorado was 19-16-6 on the road en route to a playoff appearance last season.
Defenseman John-Michael Liles recorded a pair of assists for the second straight game Monday.
Held without a point Monday after scoring twice against Chicago, Paul Stastny has two goals and two assists in his last six games against the Red Wings.Craig Anderson could again be in net after stopping 69 of 75 shots through the first two games. He is 2-4-0 with a 2.88 GAA versus Detroit. Backup Peter Budaj is 3-3-1 with a 2.79 GAA against the Red Wings.
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