So far, the Steve Downie trade is looking like a great move for everyone involved. The aggressive forward was a difference maker for the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night, scoring a goal and assist in the 5-0 rout over the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. Now, the Avalanche face a greater challenge extending their current winning streak to three games as they face the Detroit Red Wings, who just had their NHL record 24 game home winning streak snapped on Thursday night in a shootout against Vancouver.
The Downie trade is also looking pretty good for the Detroit Red Wings. They traded their 2012 1st round pick in the upcoming draft for Kyle Quincey, and he made an immediate impact with solid defense and a goal in his first game back as a Red Wing. He adds significant offensive upside to their deep blue line and solidifies Detroit's status as a serious Cup contender.
For the Avalanche, injuries continue to create turnover in the lineup. T.J. Galiardi will play for Colorado after missing the past week, but Peter Mueller will again sit out with a day-to-day torso injury. Milan Hejduk is also out with an injury, as is defenseman Ryan O'Byrne. The team depth is being tested, but so far has been producing. Mark Olver has been a force since his callup (four points in his four games), and top forwards Gabriel Landeskog, Paul Stastny, and David Jones are all averaging around a point per game the past 10 contests. This recent offensive outburst has bumped Colorado up to 20th in the league in scoring, just six goals from league average.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere is healthy and will get the start in net for Colorado. Jimmy Howard is the likely starter for Detroit.
Puck drops at 5:00 p.m. MDT.
For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Red Wings blog Winging It In Motown.