The Red Wings have reason to feel good as they find themselves in familiar waters.

They play at Colorado tonight and at Phoenix on Saturday two familiar venues before relocating to the Eastern Conference this autumn. They also are near the top of the NHL standings after three victories in four nights a stretch that has displayed several positive trends.

The Wings are confident enough in Jimmy Howard’s recuperation from a bruised hand to believe he can either start against the undefeated Avalanche or back up Jonas Gustavsson who has been the team’s best story of the week. Seemingly putting last season’s struggles solidly in the past Gustavsson looked dependable playing in Monday’s 3-2 win at Boston and Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Columbus.

Just as important offense has come from sources besides Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk during this winning streak. Daniel Alfredsson has five points in the past three games. Todd Bertuzzi has two goals. The power play has contributed four goals after starting 0-for-10. The penalty kill is among the best in NHL at 85.7%.

This has been a good week already for the Wings between outworking the Bruins in Boston and then willing out a win the next night against an opponent that hadn’t played for two days. Now comes a chance to be the first team to beat Colorado after an 6-0 start and then a chance to show that sluggish Oct. 10 performance against the Coyotes was an aberration.

While the Wings work on gaining further ground in the standings one of their long-absent teammates is gaining ground on a comeback.