The St. Louis Blues easily eliminated the Minnesota Wild from the playoffs Thursday night, which means it’ll be the Colorado Avalanche vs. Blues for the second straight year. The Avs swept the Blues in a first-round series last year, but this will be a Round 2 matchup and the Blues figure to be a tougher opponent this time around.
When will the series start? As I write this, we still don’t know. But I’m hearing that it likely won’t be until Monday or Tuesday, at Ball Arena, with Tuesday the more probable date. There could be a bunch of Game 7s on Saturday, and the NHL doesn’t want to upstage any of those games with a Game 1 of a Round 2 series.
Let’s let the NHL schedule makers make the final announcement on the schedule, but that’s what I’m hearing.
The Avs did sweep the Blues last year in the first round, but this Blues team figures to be tougher. For one thing, they have one of the Avs’ top-six wingers from last year, Brandon Saad, on their side. For another, they have a suddenly hot goalie again in Jordan Binnington, and he won a Stanley Cup in 2019 for the Blues. David Perron, who never played in the first round last year because of Covid, is healthy and has been a tough player so far in the playoffs.
The Blues do have some injury issues, though, which probably will show up more as a liability in this next series than it did against Minnesota. Torey Krug, one of the Blues’ best D-men, is out with a lower-body injury.
The Avs enter this series fully healthy.
It should be a great series.