The last time the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues played each other, it got ugly. Really ugly. The Blues had not one, but two players register a hat trick against the Avalanche, and embarrassed the team from Colorado on their home ice. After the game, Jared Bednar was as angry as I’ve seen him in his tenure with the Avalanche, saying that his team quit in the third period.
After giving up five straight goals on Wednesday night in their brutal loss to the Coyotes, the Avalanche should be mighty motivated when they take on the Blues in St. Louis tonight. They’ve been pretty good about bouncing back after ugly losses this season, and they will need to on Friday.
Both the Avalanche and Blues held optional skates Friday morning, so it’s hard to gauge who will play. Ross Colton is a question mark for Colorado after blocking a shot on Wednesday around his knee. We likely won’t know until closer to game-time if he’s good to go. The Avalanche did recall Ben Meyers on Thursday, so he’s with the team. He could replace Colton in the lineup if necessary, but he’s exclusively been playing wing in the NHL this year.
Sam Girard is not expected to return against the Blues, but it shouldn’t be too much longer until he’s back in an Avalanche uniform. Alexandar Georgiev is expected to get the start in net.
Colorado may catch a break, as the Blues are dealing with the flu bug going through their locker room. Their head coach Drew Bannister said this morning that they still aren’t sure what their lineup tonight is going to be. The only thing we really know for sure is that Jordan Binnington is going to get the start in net, despite Joel Hofer being the better netminder for the Blues of late. They’re going back to Binnington because of his regular season success against the Avalanche of late.
Expected Colorado Avalanche Lines
Valeri Nichushkin – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Miles Wood – Ross Colton – Jonathan Drouin
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Johansen – Logan O’Connor
Kurtis MacDermid – Fredrik Olofsson – Joel Kiviranta
Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Bowen Byram – Josh Manson
Jack Johnson – Sam Malinski
Expected St. Louis Blues Lineup
Buchnevich – Thomas – Kyrou
Neighbours – Schenn – Kapanen
Saad – Hayes – Toropchenko
Maceachern – Sundqvist – Blais
Leddy – Parayko
Krug – Faulk
Scandella – Perunovich
Colorado Avalanche Power Play: 24.6%, 8th in NHL
Colorado Avalanche Penalty Kill: 83.5%, 7th in NHL
St. Louis Blues Power Play: 11.1%, 32nd in NHL
St. Louis Blues Penalty Kill: 79.3%, 18th in NHL
How to Watch
TV: Altitude 2, ESPN+
Radio: 950 AM
Game Time: 6:00 PM MST