The Colorado Avalanche play game 2 against the St. Louis Blue in their first. After drubbing the Blackhawks on opening night, Colorado looks to assert dominance vs Blues.
The Colorado Avalanche came out firing against the Blackhawks and left Ball Arena with a 4-2 win. The only true question I had for this roster coming in was quieted considerably as Darcy Kuemper looked more than up to the task of replacing Philipp Grubauer. They did lose Captain Gabriel Landeskog for 2 games due to a suspension stemming from a bad hit late in the Blackhawks game. And star Nathan MacKinnon has been ruled out for Saturday due to a positive COVID test right before opening night. Devon Toews is still on the injured list. But they did get back their coach Jared Bednar after his own bout with COVID.Embed from Getty Images
Despite the losses of Mack, Landy, and Toews, this team still has plenty of star power, scoring, and defense. The ridiculous depth of this roster with Cale Makar, Bo Byram, Nazem Kadri, etc. should be just fine for the next few games. They first face the St. Louis Blues, a team they swept out of the playoffs in the first round last year. Colorado and St. Louis actually split the regular-season series 3-3.
St. Louis made the playoffs despite a negate point differential (-1), which means they were stout in close games going 27-20 overall. But that lack of scoring did them in during their first-round matchup with the Avalanche. With the distraction of Vladimir Tarasenko’s trade request still looming, and no moves outside of Pavel Buchnevich and Bradon Saad, I see no true upgrades on this St. Louis roster.Embed from Getty Images
Against a better team, say Tampa Bay or Las Vegas, the loss of Mack, Landy, and Toews would worry me. But with the way, Kuemper played in game one, and this being a home game, I’m much less anguished. This St. Louis squad should not be taken lightly, but outside of their top-line, Colorado blows every other line out of the water in pure talent. So we will put “biggest concern” in quotations.
Colorado was 0-4 on the Power Play Wednesday night. While giving up a Power Play goal to Chicago. This is a small sample, but a continuation from last year where the Av’s 5-on-5 dominance was unmatched. But was at the bottom of the league with the advantage and against the advantage. Something that really showed up against the more physical Golden Knights in the playoffs. This is why Sakic went out and got the likes of Jack Johnson and Kurtis MacDermid and moved Nichushkin to the second line and PP unit. We’ll see if we start seeing the fruits of his labor against a light Blues defense that will most likely be without David Perron.
Colorado 5-St. Louis 2