Tonight’s division rival night features two teams with plenty of history as the Colorado Avalanche welcome the St. Louis Blues to Ball Arena in Denver, CO. The Avalanche come in off of back-to-back shutout losses and will be without either Cale Makar or Bowen Byram or possibly both. The Blues arrive in the Mile High City fresh off their shutout defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks.
Well, it’s been a challenging two games for the Avalanche, and that’s putting it lightly. Cale Makar and Bowen Byram being game-time decisions tonight adds the cherry. Colorado will possibly be without one of their top 4 defenders, which I guess means that the new regular season has officially started.
Jared Bednar on Cale Makar and Bo Byram’s status via @AltitudeSR:— Adrian Hernandez (@AdoHernandez27) November 1, 2023
“Haven’t seen em in here… both guys got dinged up… and they’re dealing with things.. hopefully not that serious… looks like day to day stuff. Not sure yet… we’re still uncertain on our lineup for tonight’s…
Enter Avalanche call-ups, Caleb Jones and Ryan Tufte. Both will likely play tonight as, they were featured in lines at yesterday’s practice. It looks like Tufte might get a look on the second line, which is slightly surprising; however, he does have six goals in six games for the Eagles so far. I guess we shall see! Jones will fill in for either Bo Byram or Cale Makar, depending on who does and does not play tonight after the Avs acquired him from the Carolina Hurricanes before the season’s start.
Coach Bednar says Ivan Prosvetov will get his first start tonight. Very good chance Tufte & Dermy are in and Drouin and Tatar are out. We’ll see tonight. pic.twitter.com/8Bl1HjsWaq— Marc Moser TV (@RadioMoser) November 1, 2023
The Avalanche have had an enormous amount of success against the St. Louis Blues and Jordan Binnington, who’s been known to lose his cool around here. Namely, Nathan MacKinnon tends to go off in these games, so keep an eye on him, especially after last week’s 2 and 10.
Arturri Lehkonen — Nathan MacKinnon — Valeri Nichushkin
Ryan Tufte — Ryan Johansen — Mikko Rantanen
Miles Wood — Ross Colton — Logan O’Connor
Andrew Cogliano — Fredrik Olofsson — Kurtis MacDermid
Devon Toews — Cale Makar
Bo Byram — Sam Girard
Jack Johnson — Josh Manson
Note: Jared Bednar mentioned it is likely that both Tatar and Drouin will miss tonight, slotting Ryan Tufte and Kurtis MacDermid into the lineup. This lineup is essentially 11 & 7 now with MacDermid.
St. Louis Blues
The Blues have been a struggling squad since last year, and it feels like they are humming a similar tune this season. No more Ryan O’Reilly or Tarasenko, and it feels like the Blues are genuinely in the rebuild stage as a franchise. That’s unfortunate for Jordan Binnington and the remaining few holdovers from St. Louis’ Stanley Cup team from 2019.
Pavel Buchnevich — Robert Thomas — Kasperi Kapanen
Brandon Saad — Brayden Schenn — Jordan Kyrou
Jakub Vrana — Kevin Hayes — Jake Neighbours
Alexei Toropchenko — Oskar Sunqvist — Sammy Blais
Marco Scandella — Colton Parayko
Torey Krug — Justin Faulk
Nick Leddy — Tyler Tucker
Note: The Blues don’t look too bad on paper, so perhaps this season’s start has been a mirage?
Ivan Prosvetov is the newest goalie in town for the Avalanche, and he will get his debut start tonight. He did play in replacement of Alexandar Georgiev amidst their shutout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He saved all five of their shots on goal. There’s not much to work with there, but we should have a firmer grasp on the former Coyote after tonight. This will be his 16th professional appearance. If Prosvetov wins, I demand he does this cartwheel celly.
Another important fact about Ivan Prosvetov is that he can do cartwheels on the ice. pic.twitter.com/h2fy0WMCVG— Meghan Angley (@megangley) October 9, 2023
For the St. Louis Blues, it will likely be Jordan Binnington between the pipes. Binnington is known to live inside the extremes when playing Colorado. Either the Avalanche put it on him, or he’s on his head all night. The in-between doesn’t typically work out for him, but it’s seldom seen. So far this season, he has a 2.33 GAA and a SV% of .926.
Let us know what you think of the matchup in the comments!