Mid-day news: Wings-Avs previews; on Nyquist and this week’s opponents

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

Update: Here’s the Wings’ Game Day Preview video:

Update #2: Here’s Wings coach Jeff Blashill’s pre-game remarks:

1. ColoradoAvalanche.com’s Scott MacDonald filed a Wings-Avs preview ahead of today’s game between the teams (3 PM EDT on FSD/Altitude/97.1 FM). Among MacDonald’s notes:

Last Time They Met

The Avalanche took on the Red Wings on Nov. 19 and skated out of Little Caesers Arena with a 4-3 overtime victory. Despite falling 3-1 midway through the third period, Colorado battled back and tied the game with less than a minute remaining to force overtime. Nathan MacKinnon notched the winning tally in the extra frame and Carl Soderberg, Nail Yakupov and Erik Johnson each netted a goal of their own to secure the win. Tyson Barrie tallied two helpers in the win and Jonathan Bernier made 21 saves to help his team to victory.

What To Watch

Afternoon Delight

The Colorado Avalanche has faired well in afternoon games this year, going 3-1-1 in matinee contests at Pepsi Center. The outing against Detroit marks the sixth of seven afternoon affairs in the Mile High City this season, and the third of four during the month of March. After Sunday’s contest, the Avalanche will have one more matinee matchup in the 2017-18 campaign, hosting the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.

Continued Streaks

While the club’s nine-game point streak came to an end on Friday, Nathan MacKinnon extended his point streak to 11 games with a goal in the loss. It is the second longest-streak of his career as he had 13 straight games during his rookie season in 2013-14. In addition to MacKinnon, Tyson Barrie extended his streak to nine games with the primary assist on MacKinnon’s goal. Barrie’s run is the longest by an NHL defenseman this season. Mikko Rantanen also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, eight assists).

Player To Watch

Colorado: Defenseman Tyson Barrie

Tyson Barrie’s current nine-game point streak has him tied for the longest point streak by a defenseman in Avalanche history. Both John-Michael Liles and Kevin Shattenkirk produced nine-game streaks in the 2010-11 campaign. Barrie also has 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in his last 12 games, the most by an NHL defenseman since Feb. 20.

Detroit: Right Wing Gustav Nyquist

The Red Wings right wing Gustav Nyquist has 34 points (19 goals, 15 assists) in 71 games this season. Nyquist has tallied a goal in each of his last three games and has four points over that span. Nyquist tallied an assist in the 4-3 overtime loss to the Avalanche in Detroit on Nov. 19.

2. NHL.com’s Rick Sadowski also filed a game preview:

The Game: The Colorado Avalanche will try to strengthen their hold on the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference when they play the Detroit Red Wings at Pepsi Center on Sunday.

The Avalanche and Dallas Stars each have 84 points but Colorado holds the first wild card because they have played one fewer game and have three more regulation/overtime wins. Colorado is 6-1-3 in its past 10 games and 14-2-1 in its past 17 at home.

The Red Wings have lost nine straight games (0-8-1) and could tie the third-longest losing streak in team history. They haven’t won since a 3-2 overtime victory against the New York Rangers on Feb. 25. Detroit is 17 points behind the New Jersey Devils for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Players to watch: Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist has four points (three goals, one assist) during a three-game point streak, including goals in each game.

Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) during an 11-game point streak.

3. Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff filed an article discussing Gustav Nyquist’s play this season:

Entering Sunday’s game at Colorado against the Avalanche, Nyquist has scored in three straight games. He’s tallied 19 goals for the season, his best output since netting 27 goals in 2014-15, and completely obliterating last season’s dismal 12-goal total.

“Nyquie’s played hard all year,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill told Detroitredwings.com. “I think Nyquie’s been excellent all year.”

This productivity likely made it easier for the Wings to move steady 20-goal scorer Tomas Tatar at the NHL trade deadline, but when queried as to why the puck going in for him, Nyquist doesn’t seek to analyze the scenario, only to roll with it.

“I don’t know, it’s a tough question to answer,” Nyquist said. “Obviously last year I didn’t score as much as I would have liked to. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but obviously it’s nice to see them go in right now.”

Blashill is much more analytical when assessing the uptick in Nyquist’s output.

“His competitive level has been unreal,” Blashill said. “It’s been the best of the three years I’ve been here, maybe the best since I’ve coached him. The fact he’s on a roll here doesn’t surprise me, because he’s been playing really good hockey all season.”

Duff continues

4. And DetroitRedWings.com’s Carley Johnston and Manny Legace look forward to this week’s opponents in their “On the Forecheck” series:


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.