After being shut down for the second time this season, the Colorado Avalanche will be back in action tonight - pending negative COVID tests - to take on the St. Louis
Blues as the start of a four game road trip.
After a 4-1 victory by St. Louis in the season opener, the Avalanche have won the last four matchups against the Blues. Though the two teams are separated by 20 points in the standings, this series counts for a lot as we could see Colorado and St. Louis face off in the first round of the playoffs.
With a number of positive tests, the Avalanche found themselves shut down for COVID protocol after their game in St. Louis last Wednesday. Tonight, the team hopes that rust will not be as factor as they look for their fifth win in a row.
It won’t just be rust that the Avalanche have to overcome as Philipp Grubauer, Joonas Donskoi and Bo Byram had all tested positive for COVID over the last few weeks while Mikko Rantanen away from the team due to the positive test of a close contact. Byram was removed Monday but the other three all remain on the NHL’s COVID protocol list and will be out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.
Tonight’s Avs lineup looks a lot different than ones were used to.
The following transactions were made yesterday:
Called up on emergency loan: Jonas Johansson, Kiefer Sherwood, Conor Timmins,
Called up to the taxi squad: Adam Werner, Miikkaa Salomäki, Keaton Middleton, Martin Kaut
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Andre Burakovsky
Carl Soderberg - Nazem Kadri - J.T. Compher
Brandon Saad - Tyson Jost - Val Nichushkin
Liam O’Brien - Pierre Edouard Bellemare - Martin Kaut
Samuel Girard - Devon Toews
Ryan Graves - Cale Makar
Patrick Nemeth - Conor Timmins
St. Louis Blues
The Blues come into this game having lost two in a row and nine of their last 11 games. They currently sit one point out of a playoff spot in the West with a couple games in hand.
A big reason why the Blues have been struggling is a lack of goal scoring recently. After starting the season as one of the highest scoring teams in the league, the Blues have cooled off in a big way and are no longer able to outscore their deficiencies on the blue line and between the pipes.
Samuel Blais - Ryan O’Reilly - David Perron
Jaden Schwartz - Brayden Schenn - Vladmir Tarasenko
Zach Sanford - Tyler Bozak - Robert Thomas
Kyle Clifford - Ivan Barbashev - Jordan Kyrou
Torey Krug - Justin Faulk
Marco Scandella - Vince Dunn
Jake Walman - Colton Parayko
With Philipp Grubauer out for at least another week, the Avalanche will be forced to rely on Devan Dubnky and Jonas Johansson for the time being. We don’t know which one will start tonight but it is likely that they will split the next two game set in St. Louis.
For the Blues, we are likely to see Jordan Binnington. He comes into the game with a .908 sv%. On the season, Binnington’s numbers are much worse against the Avalanche than they are any other team he’s faced (1-3/3.34GAA/.898sv%).