Colorado Avalanche (7-0-1) at St. Louis Blues (3-2-3)
Time: 6:00 p.m. MST
Location: Enterprise Center
Broadcast/Streaming: Altitude / ESPN+
Opponent SBNation Site: St. Louis Game Time
The Colorado Avalanche will look to continue its franchise record-setting start to the season as they take on the defending Stanley Cup champs in St. Louis. Unlike the Avs, the Blues have struggled a bit to start the season, particularly at home, where they are 1-1-2. Colorado on the other hand has picked up seven out of a possible eight points on the road to start the year.
The Blues are currently on a four-game losing streak (0-2-2), while the Avalanche have gone 3-0-1 in the midst of its season-long six-game road trip. Despite what the numbers might suggest, expect the Cup champs to bring their best in what will be a hard-fought Central Division matchup.
After Pavel Francouz continued to prove his ability as a legitimate back-up goaltender in the NHL, making 44 saves — 17 of which came in the third period — against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a well-rested Phillip Grubauer will get the nod in net tonight. Also expect the lines to stay the same in St. Louis. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? In particular expect a little more ice time from the recently-renovated line of Colin Wilson - Tyson Jost - J.T. Compher, who connected for eight total points and a Jost hat trick to carry the Avs to victory in Tampa Bay.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Andre Burakovsky - Nazem Kadri - Joonas Donskoi
Colin Wilson - Tyson Jost - J.T. Compher
Matt Calvert - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Matt Nieto
Scratched: Vladislav Kamenev, Valeri Nichushkin
Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov - Cale Makar
Ian Cole - Ryan Graves
Scratched: Mark Barberio
St. Louis Blues
A struggling start to the season is nothing new for St. Louis. Last year, the Blues went 2-3-2 to open the year and continued it’s poor opening-half performance all the way to the basement of the NHL at the halfway mark of the season. By the end of November, the Blues fired head coach Mike Yeo and named Craig Berube the interim bench boss. Of course, we all know how the second half of the season went for St. Louis.
Expect this one to be a higher-scoring affair, as the Avalanche own the league’s best goals-per-game average (4.38) while the Blues are also in the NHL’s top 50-percent at a respectable three goals-per-game average.
Despite the early season struggles in St. Louis, don’t expect this one to be easy pickings for the red-hot Avalanche. After all, the Blues swept the Avs last season, winning all four of the year’s matchups. St. Louis is a team replete with dangerous weapons, starting with Vladimir Tarasenko up top. Ryan O’Reilly will also be taking on his fornjmer team, who he does very well against. O’Reilly is currently on a three-game point streak (1G, 3A) against Colorado and has 13 points in 10 games against his former team.
Vladimir Tarasenko - Brayden Schenn - Jaden Schwartz
David Perron - Ryan O’Reilly - Samuel Blais
Oskar Sundqvist - Ivan Barbashev - Robert Thomas
Alex Steen - Tyler Bozak - Robby Fabbri
Alex Pietrangelo - Colton Parayko
Justin Faulk - Vince Dunn
Robert Bortuzzo - Jay Bouwmeester
After a heroic performance from Pavel Francouz, Philipp Grubauer will get his spot back in the crease tonight. Jordan Binnington, who was the MVP of the 2019 playoffs, will backstop the Blues in net tonight.