The Coach's NHL Puckline PUNISHER
(NHL) Colorado vs. Detroit, 12/21/2014 1:00 PM, Score: 2 - 1
Point Spread: 1.50 | -159.00 Colorado (Away)
Result: Win
The Detroit Red Wings are coming into this contest off the back of five consecutive losses, four of them on home ice. They'll be hosting the Colorado Avalanche who are coming off a dominant 5-1 win at Buffalo, playing three straight games past regulation prior. The visitors have a good chance of piling on the home teams misery here, but I'm playing it safe with a play on the puckline.

Here are my keys to the game:

1. The Wings Slumping Offense - You don't have to dig very deep to find the reason why Detroit is reeling. They've managed to average only one goal per game over their five game skid, with only two of those coming 5-versus-5. They tested the Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak only 18 times in the 2-1 loss two days ago.

2. Goaltending - Both teams will have to do without their star netminders as we will see Calvin Pickard tend the net for the visitors and Petr Mrazek for the home team. Pickard has been great, going 2-1-2 with a 1.76 GAA since Sergei Varlamov got injured and made 47 saves in the 1-0 OT loss at Pittsburgh Thursday while Mrazek has gone a respectable 1-2-0 with a 1.90 GAA over three December starts.

3. X-Factor - Henrik Zetterberg has three points over his last eight games and if he's struggling, it doesn't bode well for the Wings offense.

Selection: This is a play on the Colorado Avalanche +1.5 (8*)