After the heartbreaking loss, the Colorado Avalanche suffered at the hands of the St. Louis Blues the Avalanche were looking to bounce back with a win. The team started the game hot but things didn’t go how they drew it up, at all.
Less than two minutes into the game the Blues got off to an early lead after a Torey Krug shot deflected off of both Brayden Schenn and Samuel Girard into the back of the Avalanche net.
Following the unfortunate bounce Colorado dominated the first half of the opening period. They created a handful of quality chances, hitting the post twice, but none broke through Jordan Binnington.
After several minutes of constant Avalanche pressure, the Blues were next to strike. Brandon Saad made a move around Cale Makar, drew Alexandar Georgiev out of his net, and threaded the needle to a crashing Schenn. The Blues captain perfectly tipped the puck up and over Georgiev for his second of the game.
Things spiraled for the Avalanche to end the first as the Blues won an offensive zone faceoff with under a minute remaining. Robert Thomas gave a cross-ice pass to Torey Krug who fired the puck past Georgiev for his first of the year and the Avalanche found themselves in a 3-0 hole after one.
The Avalanche again played well to start the second, but yet again it was the Blues who would strike first in the period. During the first Avalanche powerplay of the game Oskar Sundqvist and Pavel Buchnevich connected on a 2-on-1 created by a series of wild events high in the Blues zone. The shorthanded goal put the Blues up by a score of 4-0 with a little under half of the game remaining.
There was still life for Colorado. The team had been creating chances and they kept pushing to get the game within arms reach. Mikko Rantanen did just that for the Avalanche as he tipped a Cale Makar shot past Binnington to put the Avs within three.
In the dying seconds of the middle frame, Tomas Tatar was called roughing, a call that carried over into the third period. This was a kill the Avalanche needed to get in order to have the slightest chance at the comeback. They did a good job killing the first two-thirds of the penalty, but Buchnevich put the Avs's comeback dreams to rest early with a power play goal thanks to a nifty Robert Thomas pass.
If Buchnevich’s powerplay goal wasn’t enough to put the Avalanche to bed, Schenn completed his hat trick minutes later on the next Blues power play. After scoring his first two goals from the net front, Schenn got his third with a one-timer from the top of the circles that went top shelf.
It was hard to tell if it was Georigev or Bednar that made the decision to call it a night for the Avs starting goaltender, but either way, Ivan Prosvetov was in net for the Avalanche following the Blues’ sixth goal.
The goaltending change did little to sway the momentum of the game as the Blues would get two more goals to truly put the Avalanche to shame. The seventh of the night came from Buchnevich, who not only scored his second shorthanded goal of the game but, in addition to Schenn, completed his hat trick.
St. Louis got their final goal of the game after Prosvetov stoned Alexey Toropchenko on a breakaway, but got no support, allowing Toropchenko to get a goal of his own after several attempts at the ensuing rebound chance.
In the final minute of the game, Jack Johnson scored on a nice shot from the blue line. Unfortunately for the veteran defensemen that goal was far too little far too late as the Avs fell 8-2.
Through 40 minutes of this game, there was a decent amount to like. The Avs had the lion’s share of the chances, and if it weren’t for some bad luck could have been within one at the very least. Unfortunately for the Avs, there are 60 minutes in a hockey game and potential goals count for nothing.
Personally, I’m not going to sound the alarms just yet because the season is still early and the team has shown well at moments. Those alarms will be blaring soon if the Avalanche continue to play like this.
The biggest problem with this team is their defense. Which statistically hasn’t been that bad. They do a good job at limiting chances, for the most part. The issue stems from the chances they do give up. They are far too dangerous. It’s fair to say the Avs' goaltending should be better than it has been, but defensively the Avalanche aren’t giving their goaltenders any chance on most of the goals against. The Avalanche need to seriously cut out the big mistakes and put more emphasis on defense.
One last thing. Obviously, the refs didn’t change the outlook of this game, but I had a serious issue with them. For the second game in a row, an Av has taken a check from behind, uncalled. Throw out how it impacts the result of a hockey game. Those hits are dangerous. In every level of hockey, those aren’t allowed. Not acceptable for the referees to allow that and put players in harm’s way.
The Avalanche play the Seattle Kraken for the final time this regular season on Monday, with puck drop at 8:00 p.m. MT. They are looking for a big bounceback then and Mile High Hockey will have you covered, no matter the result.