The Colorado Avalanche head on a quick one-game road trip over to Missouri to face the St. Louis Blues. After hosting two games at home, this Blues game is a quick hop away before the start of a five-game home stand.
Despite the starts to both teams' seasons, this should be a highly-contested game as every game is in the Central Division. It is the first visit the Avs will take to St. Louis after Darren Helm’s last-second heroics in Game 6 of the second round. And good news, everyone can watch this game on national TV!
The Avs, despite playing at home for the last two games, lost both games to the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. Furthermore, Colorado has lost four straight games coming into this game.
Because of the four straight losses, the Avs have slipped down to third in the Central, closer to the position the St. Louis Blues sit in. While the Avalanche continues to deal with injury issues, help is on the way, ever so slowly.
Valeri Nichushkin’s return to the ice Friday night was prominent and felt up and down the lineup. While he didn’t get on the scoresheet, just him standing in front of Igor Shesterkin for the only goal of the game for the Avs. Furthermore, Artturi Lehkonen is projected to be back and help the shorthanded side.
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Mikko Rantanen (96) - Valeri Nichushkin (13)
Alex Newhook (18) - J.T. Compher (37) - Logan O’Connor (25)
Charles Hudon (54) - Ben Meyers (59) - Jean-Luc Foudy (93)
Dryden Hunt (22) - Andrew Cogliano (11) - Jacob MacDonald (26)
Sam Girard (49) - Cale Makar (8)
Devon Toews (7) - Erik Johnson (6)
Brad Hunt (17) - Andreas Englund (88)
St. Louis Blues
The Blues are coming off a disappointing 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at home this past Thursday night. Despite their recent playoff appearances (including their second-round contest against the Avs), they have found life extremely difficult this season.
St. Louis lost a couple of players, notably David Perron to the Detroit Red Wings along with Ville Husso. In net, Jordan Binnington has not lived up to expectations and has resorted to various tactics which have made his own head coach Craig Berube upset.
Jordan Binnington just hit Jason Zucker in the face as he was skating around the net?!#LetsGoPens #STLBlues pic.twitter.com/KnPSo5Ptgt— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) December 4, 2022
Blues coach Craig Berube on Jordan Binnington's antics:— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) December 4, 2022
"It’s got to stop. It doesn’t help anything. Just play goal. Stop the puck.”
While there’s still some bad blood between the Blues and Avs, the Blues could actually help their chances and hurt the Avs at the same time. A win Sunday afternoon would cut the gap to two points between themselves and Colorado while handing them their fifth straight loss.
Brayden Schenn (10) - Ryan O’Reilly (90) - Josh Leivo (17)
Jordan Kyrou (25) - Robert Thomas (18) - Vladimir Tarasenko (91)
Brandon Saad (20) - Ivan Barbashev (49) - Will Bitten (42)
Nathan Walker (26) - Noel Acciari (52) - Tyler Pitlick (9)
Nick Leddy (4) - Colton Parayko (55)
Torey Krug (47) - Justin Faulk (72)
Niko Mikkola (77) - Robert Bortuzzo (41)
Expect it to be both of the teams’ number ones, with the aforementioned Binnington for the Blues and Alexandar Georgiev for the Avs.