St. Louis Blues Gameday Preview: Colorado Avalanche
The St. Louis Blues have turned an eight-game losing streak into a two-game winning streak and now own a record of 5-8-0 with 10 points. Their impressive 3-2 victory over the conference-leading Vegas Golden Knights on Nov. 12 could prove to be the catalyst this team needs to propel them up the standings. In earning his fifth victory of the season, goalie Jordan Binnington stopped 31 of 33 shots faced, 22 of which came in the third period. The Blues’ goals were scored by Brandon Saad (2), Ivan Barbashev (2), and Ryan O’Reilly (3), while O’Reilly also recorded his first assist on the year. Assists were also given to Calle Rosen (2), Brayden Schenn (9), Josh Leivo (2), and Niko Mikkola (1).
For the second game of their three-game road trip, they’ll head to Denver, CO, to face the rival Colorado Avalanche (8-4-1, 17 points). After a so-so start to the season, the Avalanche have won four in a row. During their current winning streak, they’ve outscored opponents 20-8. For the season, they’re ranked fifth in the league in overall goal differential at plus-14.
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This will be the first matchup between the two teams since the Avalanche bested the Blues in the 2021-22 Western Conference semi-finals, 4-2. In their three regular season tilts last year, the Blues were 1-2-0. The margins of victory were narrow for both sides; the combined scores for those three games was 12-11 in favor of Colorado.
St. Louis Blues Projected Lineup
Pavel Buchnevich – Robert Thomas – Vladimir Tarasenko
Brandon Saad – Ryan O’Reilly – Josh Leivo
Ivan Barbashev – Brayden Schenn – Jordan Kyrou
Nikita Alexandrov – Noel Acciari – Tyler Pitlick
Nick Leddy – Colton Parayko
Torey Krug – Justin Faulk
Calle Rosen – Niko Mikkola
Colorado Avalanche Projected Lineup
Artturi Lehkonen – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Alex Newhook – Evan Rodrigues – Martin Kaut
Andrew Cogliano – JT Compher – Logan O’Connor
Dryden Hunt – Jayson Megna – Sampo Ranta
Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Jacob MacDonald – Josh Manson
Andreas Englund – Erik Johnson
Players to Watch
St. Louis Blues: Brandon Saad
After missing the first six games of the Blues’ eight-game losing streak, Brandon Saad was reinserted into the lineup on Nov. 7 vs. the Boston Bruins. Since his return, the Blues are 2-2 and the lineup seems to have stabilized. In the last two games, victories over the San Jose Sharks and Golden Knights, he’s scored a goal in both matchups. In 31 career games against his former team, Saad has seven goals and 13 assists. For the season, he’s recorded two goals on eight total shots, giving him a shooting percentage (S%) of 25 percent.
Colorado Avalanche: Cale Makar
With a team as loaded offensively as the Avalanche are, you’re really never watching just one player. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanan deserve to have eyes glued to them anytime they’re on the ice, but Cale Makar is too special to not get the nod here. After winning the Norris Trophy last season, he’s picking right up where he left off. In 13 games, he’s tallied three goals, 13 assists, and 16 points. His 16 points are fifth amongst all defensemen while his 13 assists tie him for second.
He’s currently quarterbacking the league’s number one power-play unit, scoring at at a rate of 39 percent (16-for-41). Getting time on both special teams units, he’s currently fourth in the league in average time on ice (ATOI) at 26:11. In 14 career games versus St. Louis, Makar has recorded 17 points (five goals, 12 assists).
Where You Can Catch the Game
St. Louis Blues @ Colorado Avalanche – 8:00 PM CDT
The Blues and Avalanche take the ice tonight at 8:00 PM CDT. You can watch the game on Bally Sports Midwest and Bally Sports+. If you’re unable to watch, you can hear the call live on 101 ESPN and the Blues app.
Marcus Ashpaugh is a husband, father, coach, and a huge sports fan. He has had a few of his own websites in the past where he published pieces about both the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Blues.