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Game 4: Avalanche At Blues, Preview and Open Thread

Since Joe is off backpacking across Europe (or something), I'm filling in for today's preview thread. After a four-day break, the Avalanche get back in action tonight in St Louis against the Blues.

Both teams are 2-1-0 and tied for 2nd place in their respective divisions. With 1st place Minnesota idle (the only NW team to have the night off), the Avs could claim a share of 1st with a win.

That may be easier said than done. The Blues gave the Avalanche fits last year, winning 3 of the 4 games (and outscoring the Avs 11-7). The Blues have a couple of notable new faces this year, and both are off too strong starts: old friend Paul Kariya leads the team with 5 points, and Brad Boyes - a deadline acquisition last year - has 3 goals. Boyes, who once was traded for Lake Erie's Jeff Jillson, has struggled to regain his stellar rookie-season 69-point form from a few seasons ago. It looks like the 25-year-old is off to a solid start this year.

The Avs potent offense will be facing a weakened Blues defense. Jay McKee (foot) and Eric Brewer (shoulder) are both on the IR, and superprospect Erik Johnson (foot) is doubtful as well.

Jose Theodore gets his first start of the season. He did not see any action against St Louis last season.

Game time is 8:30 Eastern (that's 6:30 Mountain, right?). I don't think Joe will be around to post in the open thread tonight, and I know I won't be...but that shouldn't stop the rest of you from posting during the game as normal. And don't forget that Diary posts are great ways to share your thoughts on the game after it's over.

Go Avs.