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Game 37 Preview: Red Wings at Avalanche

The tanking Avs (12-20-4) host the slumping Red Wings (18-14-5). Apparently Landeskog and Datsyuk are auditioning for Dancing With the Stars.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche host the playoff hungry Detroit Red Wings in what marks their first game post-trade deadline. The Avs made just two moves: Sending the out-of-place Ryan O'Byrne to the Maple Leafs in exchange for a 2014 4th round pick; and a straight swap of Cameron Gaunce to the Dallas Stars for the puck-munching Tomas Vincour. Vincour, now with Lake Erie, tallied 2 goals and 1 assist in his 15 games with the Stars this season.

Speaking of future division foes, St. Louis (Jay Bouwmeester), Nashville (Filip Forsberg), Minnesota (Jason Pominville), and Dallas (Kevin Connauton & Joe Morrow) all got much stronger with their deadline acquisitions. Next year will be tough.

But that's next year. The Avs have Detroit to worry about tonight. The Mike Babcock-led bunch have struggled as of late, dropping three of their last four including a 7-1 shellacking by the Chicago Blackhawks on their own turf last Sunday.

Their one win during this slump came against the Avalanche on Monday. Of course it would. Throughout that affair, the Avs played with some heart but ultimately fell prey to their own breakdowns. They came close to sending the game into OT but "it was too little too late." Recurring theme, much?

Tonight will be Detroit's second game of a back-to-back. Just like Monday.

There are really no expectations here, but winning would be nice from time to time so I'm hoping for captain Gabe Landeskog to come up big and out-Swede opposing captain Henrik Zetterberg. The Avs could really use a big game from Landy, who is without a point in his last four games.

If you're in Denver I better hear your cheers all the way from my living room here in the nation's capital. The Avs may not always show up, but let's remind the league that we love our team more than our Pepsi Center barn often indicates. #GoAvsGo

12 more games left. By the end of this month, the Avs will have either driven the tank straight to Seth Jones' front door, or they will have shown enough character to play for their pride.

Puck drops 7pm MT (9pm ET)

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