Blues Visit Avalanche, Game 15 Preview

Doug Pensinger

Optimism. It ain't just for homers, Altitude, Burgundy Rainbow, Urinating Unicorns, delusional ignoramuses, Optimus Prime, optimists any more.

When even thinking of the St. Louis Blues, it has become the redundant default move to discuss ad nauseum the Johnson/McClement-Stewart/Shattenkirk trade, but we don't want to go there today. We could whine about how Johnson is out indefinitely with a head injury, or how the Avs premiere penalty killer Jay McClement left rather promptly at the first chance he got, or how Duncan Siemens is rumored to be having a lackluster season in junior, or about how Kevin Shattenkirk leads every single NHL defensemen in points, and Chris Stewart has 6 goals/11 points in 15 games, or how the Blues sit comfortably at 6th place in the West while the Avs languish in 3rd to last, but we're not going there. We're not going to wallow in what could have been - at least not for today.

Instead, we're going to think about how bad ass Matt Duchene is (17 points in 14 games) and recollect the fresh memory of Dutchy knocking Shea Weber into the boards, stripping the perennial Norris candidate of the puck behind his own net, and then hitting McGinn with a perfect pass that resulted in the game winner.

We're also going to ponder on the reason Shattenkirk was deemed expendable was because of the perceived plenitude of talent the Avs piled up on their blue line and how that depth is finally starting to appear in the forms of Tyson Barrie scoring his first NHL goal (and first by an Avalanche Defensemen) last game while quarterbacking the powerplay, and the reappearance of Stefan Elliot in the bigs, quarterbacking the 2nd powerplay unit (we'll gloss over his wretched play for this Burgundy-lensed post).

We'll also mention that both Landeskog and Johnson are improving healthy-headwise, Jamie McGainedafew is a point per game player over the last 10, and the Avs waiver wire afterthought Aaron HallePalushaj has 4 points in 4 games for his appreciative new club. We'll even mention the fact that the Avs have picked up 5 of the possible 8 points available in their last 4 games, and sit just 4 points out of the final playoff spot with 2 games in hand (as of this writing).

So while this season is far from perfect - nor likely to end in any kind of playoff run let alone an extended one - this team isn't giving up, so neither is MHH. Puck drops tonight at 8pm MT and can be seen in mainstream gloryhorror for rivalry night(?) on NBCSN. Go Avs.

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