Game 3 Preview: Wings vs. Avalanche


The season is finally here and Octopus Thrower is here with all the game coverage! A little pre-season hangover ado, but we are here to preview game three of the season upcoming against the much hated Colorado Avalanche. The Wings come into the game 2-0 to start the season, after ruining the Hawk’s Stanley Cup banner raising (let the hangover begin!). Chris Osgood got the start on Saturday, posting good numbers against a solid Blackhawk offense. After a shutout to start the season for Jimmy Howard, Osgood answered by stopping 26 of 28 shots in the second game of the season. After a rough defensive exhibition season for the Red Wings, the defensive six have really turned things around. Let’s take a look at what’s to come on the ice in game number three at the Joe Louis Arena.

Game Three Preview

Colorado Avalanche (1-1) vs. Detroit Red Wings

Time: 7:30 PM ET

Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit


Radio: 97.1 Detroit, Red Wings Radio Network

The Opposing View: With back to back games, The Avalanche will come into the Joe follow a tough fought 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on the road. After giving up three goals on the home opener in Philadelphia, Avalanche starting goaltender Craig Anderson could see his first game off this season with action on back to back nights. The Avalanche defense gave up the puck multiple times in the neutral zone against the Flyers, which led to scoring drives multiple times in the game. This led to a quick 2-0 lead and an eventual collapse in the third.

Colorado tied the game in the third, after being down 2-0, when Milan Hejduk put the puck in the net just :30 seconds after the second intermission. The Avs defense would then give up two goals late in the third period, one on the empty net. as Jeff Carter added the game winner with three minutes remaining in the game.

The Avs sturggled on Monday on the power play. A short handed goal from Claude Giroux at the beginning of the first period put the Flyers on the board. Despite the power play turnover goal, Colorado was unable to put anything on the net with the advantage four times.

In net, I would expect to see Peter Budaj in the third game of the season. A break that Wings fans should look forward to, considering Craig Anderson has been fantastic despite multiple breakaway opportunities for opponents this season.

Second Line Maturation:

With Only two games in the books, it has already become apparent how much the Wings are looking forward to Valteri Filpula taking the next step in his young career. Arguably, he has been the best offensive threat in this young season, tallying two goals against the Blackhawks on Saturday. Alongside Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzan, head coach Mike Babcock feels he has found his go-to line early in the season. In just two games, the line has put together four goals and four assists. With Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on the same line, there has to be another group of three forwards that is more than just a supplement of offense. With the second line giving a little bit of everything on the ice, Babcock believes his true offensive showing could come from line number two.

"“We got two big bodies and Fil with his skating and shooting now, we’re driving to the net and getting good looks, getting a lot of good opportunities. I think it’s just a matter of doing a lot of the grunt work down low and inside so you can wear them down that way.”"

Even captain Nicklas Lidstrom has noticed the chemistry.

"“They seem to be finding each other, and they’re going to the net,” Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “All three of them are playing great for us. Two big bodies on the wing and Fil’s a very strong skater, he’s handling the puck well and is coming with speed. It’s tough to stop that line when they’re playing the way they did (Saturday).”"

Jonathan Ericsson, Justin Abdelkader, Kris Draper Out:

Though the Wings aren’t as injured as they were at this point last season, there are some players that are already missing time. On defense, Jonathan Ericsson hasn’t skated since the first game of the season and will sit out tuesday’s game against the Avalanche. Facing a sore back, alongside spasms, Ericsson had hoped to skate on Monday, but he is still feeling a bit of pain in his back. He is still day-to-day.

Kris Draper did skate in Monday’s practice, but will still sit out due to a sore groin. Fourth line center Justin Abdelkader also skated, but will sit out and get completely healthy after suffering sore ribs in game one of the season.

Jakub Kindl will get to show what he can do on the defensive side of things. Kindl made a good impression in his first game this season on Saturday. He is looking to prove that he belongs in the mix at a full-time rate.

Starting Lines:

Forward Line 1:  Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Holmstrom

Forward Line 2:  Franzen-Filppula-Bertuzzi

Forward Line 3:  Hudler-Modano-Cleary

Forward Line 4:  Miller-Helm-Eaves

Defense Pairing 1: Lidstrom-Kronwall

Defense Pairing 2: Stuart-Rafalski

Defense Pairing 3:  Kindl-Salei

Goalie 1: Jimmy Howard

Goalie 2: Chris Osgood