The Colorado Avalanche come off a tough loss to conference foe Golden Knights. They now have fellow conference and division foe, St. Louis Blues, next on the docket.

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The Colorado Avalanche is in the middle of finding an identity and fitting in some new pieces. This has many in Avalanche Country looking to pull the rip-cord. I say hold on, this is a long season that is only 2-weeks old. No wholesale changes should be made after 5 games.

With that being said, there are some areas of concern. The Avalanche has the 30th ranked power-play at a paltry 9.1%. They are also 26th in penalty minutes (71) and 23rd in shooting% (.083). No offensive category has them ranked above 20th.

The undefeated Blues on the other hand…well just look at this team comparison against the Colorado Avalanche courtesy of Yahoo! Sports:

The Blues have come out the gate firing after their early exit at the hands of the Avalanche in last year’s playoffs. But they will be without old friends Ryan O’Reilly and Brandon Saad due to Covid-19 protocols that played a big role in their win over the Avs earlier this season. Ryan and Brandon combined for 2 points, 3 SOGs, 21 FWs, 1 hit, 4 blocks, and 3 takeaways in the Blues’ 5-3 win. They obviously had a point to prove to their old squad.

This does not mean this Blues squad is overwhelmingly weakened. They still have the likes of top goal scorer David Perron (6 G) and Vladimir Tarasenko who has 6 points and 26 SOG. This St. Louis squad is still loaded for bear and a home crowd to feed off of.

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They also have the confidence of thoroughly dominating this team in their house just a little more than a week ago. Those memories are fresh for both the Avs and Blues bench. Not so sure they are in Vegas as they have the Blues as home underdogs as of this writing. Either they see the losses of O’Reilly and Saad or see more in the Knights loss than even I did.

Key Stats:

.910

Yes, the Colorado Avalanche has lost twice this season with their goalie surpassing this mark. This is an outlier, market correction will come, and should soon.

-5

This is the combined +/- of Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog. While their scoring has seen an uptick over the last 2 games, their efficiency is still lacking.

Key Players:

Logan O’Connor: Can the little-known winger continue to shine on defense while adding some offense? (13 SOGs, 1 pt)

Bo Byram/Cale Makar: Can the youngsters trust the process after a tough loss and keep up the defensive energy they displayed throughout the Knights matchup?

Mikko Rantanen: He is the early season MVP and most consistent player on both ends. Can he continue this ride to a possible career year?

Final Prediction:

Colorado 3- St. Louis 1

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