Don’t think. Just play. That would be my advice to the Avalanche if I were Jared Bednar. But, can Avs players put Game 5 out of their minds, not to mention not think about the gorilla on their backs that is the second-round results of the last three years? We’ll find out, starting in about five and a half hours.
I think the Avs will lose tonight and win Game 7. That’s what I think. But I’ve been known to be … wrong … before.
I just don’t like the vibes for tonight. I just think that loss the other night, that utterly inexplicable loss, is still too fresh in their minds. Enterprise Center is going to be loud, and the Blues now have to feel like they are playing with house money. I’m sure not even they can believe they won that game Wednesday night, so now they’re going to be loose. The Avs are saying all the right things about having a short memory and putting it behind them, etc. etc. etc. But that was such a bad loss, I think the carryover effect will be real. Again: I think Avs win the series in seven.
Expect Andre Burakovsky to replace Alex Newhook in the lineup tonight. There might be another lineup change as well, but Bednar isn’t tipping his hand.
The pressure on Darcy Kuemper will be big tonight, and even bigger if there’s a Game 7. He has to bring his A-Game tonight. It seems like he’s playing pretty deep in his net right now, and kind of flinching on shots. Gotta get squarer to the puck and try to keep any rebounds right in front of him.
If the Avs get a lead, they can’t sit back. Attack the puck every inch of the ice. No more casual line changes while nursing a lead. Safe is death. The fact that the Avs still don’t seem to believe that, in the biggest of games, remains an unsolved mystery that not even Robert Stack could solve.
Avs are -165 favorites to beat the Blues tonight, at SuperBook Colorado.
We’ll know soon if that was a bad bet or not.