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Game Preview: St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche

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Despite last week's events, but Colorado's season is not quite over. They welcome the Blues to Denver while hanging on to a final thread of hope.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

I don't often touch on highfalutin subject matter like philosophy, but today it seems appropriate. Aristotle, Descartes, Nietzsche, Sartre, Kierkegaard -- they all left an indelible mark on the evolution of human thought. But my favorite is a lesser name, one you won't often hear while sipping brandies in Ivy League salons: Lloyd Christmas of Rhode Island. When presented with ever increasing odds of failure ("one-in-a-hundred? one-in-a-million?!"), Christmas thought beyond our instinctual human expressions of doubt and reveled in the promise of opportunity, however implausible.

"So, you're saying there's a chance...?"

Yes, Lloyd, there IS a chance. Though the Avalanche have stumbled down the final of the 2015-16 season to the frustration of their fans, they still retain a tiny chance of making the playoffs. A 3.1% chance, actually, which is even better than one-in-a-hundred and way better than one-in-a-million. As poor as Christmas' odds were in his seminal 90s work, Colorado's are better. They'll need some help to be sure -- but while there's hope, we should be hopeful.

Victim number one will need to be the St. Louis, who beat the Avs pretty handily last Tuesday. Fortunately, they're catching the Blues again now that their impressive scoreless streak from last week is starting to normalize. The Boston Bruins dropped six goals on St. Louis on Friday when they had given up just one in the previous five games. The Avs wouldn't mind a fraction of that goal total, as long as it's enough for a regulation victory.

Matt Duchene will be playing in his second game since returning from a two-week-long knee injury. Though limited by a brace, he brings much-needed experience and skill to the Avs' forward corp in a game they can't afford to lose. Unforunately, Nikita Zadorov will likely be missing the game after absorbing a horrific elbow-to-head blow from Tom Wilson. Zadorov remained on the ice for a considerable amount of time following the play and was helped into the locker room when he could finally get up. Naturally, what should have been a five-minute major and a game misconduct was not penalized at all. I'd be very surprised if Zadorov returns at all this season.

Also of note, Mikhail Grigorenko left the game with about twelve minutes remaining on Friday. Our homies at BSN Avalanche reported he was on the ice for practice yesterday, so it appears it was a minor injury or a shortening of the bench. The line configurations below should be considered very tentative.

Puck drops at 6:00 PM MST. The game will be televised on NBCSN.

Etc.

  • Gabriel Landeskog scored his 100th career NHL goal on Friday. He added another assist for good measure, bringing him to 51 points on the season.
  • After losing to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, the Minnesota Wild will play the Winnipeg Jets tonight at 6:00 PM MST. Colorado needs them to drop two of their next three (with one being in regulation) to have a shot at surpassing them in the standings.

Lineups

Landeskog - Soderberg - Comeau
Grigorenko - Duchene - Boedker
Matthias - Mitchell - Iginla
McLeod - Agozzino - Martinsen

Beauchemin - Johnson
Holden - Barrie
Bigras - Redmond

Varlamov
Pickard