Division Rivals: Colorado Avalanche vs St. Louis Blues


Historically, the Colorado Avalanche have struggled with the St. Louis Blues, and the situation was no different in the 2014-15 season. The Avalanche went 1-2-2 against the Blues.

The NHL clustered division games during the season so that the Avalanche were finished with the Blues by mid-January. Then again, they played St. Louis three times in December — and none of the matches were filled with the “spirit of the season.”

November 1, 2014

This game marked a victory of sorts for the Avalanche. The team had gone 3-6-2 in the first month of the season — a far cry from the 12-1 start to the previous season. So, when the Avalanche gained a point in the 3-2 shootout against the Blues on November, 1, it felt almost like a victory.

Play was dead even throughout most of the game. In fact, the Avalanche matched the Blues shot for shot (29). They even scored two power play goals, by Ryan O’Reilly and Nathan MacKinnon. Erik Johnson assisted on both.

However, though the Avalanche would go on to dominate in shootout situations — with MacKinnon earning the #3 spot in the entire NHL — they were shut down in this shootout.

December 13, 2014

This game is also known as the Erik Johnson show. Johnson scored the only two goals in the 3-2 overtime loss. Remember, Johnson was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in 2006, first-overall. This game was his first ever multi-goal night.

This game also marked the reoccuring trend of the Avalanche failing in overtime. The Blues came on strong, and rookie goalie Calvin Pickard — in for the ailing Semyon Varlomov — eventually succumbed.

Before you go blaming Pickard, realize he faced 42 shots that night. 42 shots from the likes of TJ Oshie (who got the game winner in overtime), David Backes and Kevin Shattenkirk. 42 shots — St. Louis goalie Jake Allen only faced 25.

I was at this game, by the way. Not only was it Paul Stastny’s first appearance back in Denver after fleeing during free agency, it was the game in which St. Louis fans punched each other out.

December 23, 2014

The Avalanche finally unleashed their pent-up rage against the Blues, beating them 5-0 as an early “Christmas present.”

The Avalanche deserved it. Not only did Jonson score against his old team again, but the Avs got not one but two power play goals. They also outshot the Blues 41 to 26.

December 29, 2014

The Avs shut out the Blues 5-0, and St. Louis responded by shutting out the Avs 3-0.

The Avalanche put forth a dismal effort. They managed just 16 shots on goal. Paul Stastny also earned his first-ever point against his former team, assisting on Chris Butler‘s second period goal.

Seriously, this was about as forgettable a game as they come.

January 19, 2015

More from Avalanche News

The Avalanche may have wanted retribution against the Blues, but they didn’t get it on this Monday night. Instead, they put forth another low-shot effort — 18 this time. It was one of those games that saw them play a lot fewer than 60 minutes.

The lone bright spot was Matt Duchene‘s second period goal, his 13th of the season. Duchene whipped around in his signature spin-o-rama move and shot the puck near his old buddy, Paul Stastny. The puck bounced off Stastny and into the net.

That’s not total retribution, but the own-goal by Stastny felt really good.


The St. Louis Blues are a big team that’s not afraid to get physical — or dirty, for that matter. They have real difficulty getting far in the playoffs, but that means little to the Avalanche when they’re either not making the playoffs or getting eliminated early.

As I said, the Avs have historically struggled with St. Louis. They went 1-3-0 in the golden 2013-14 season. One of those games also saw St. Louis captain David Backes’ hog tying of then-rookie Nathan MacKinnon.

Besides being physical, St. Louis has offensively gifted players like Backes, Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexander Steen and the inimitable TJ Oshie.


Get physical — it’s not accident that a  big, physical player like Erik Johnson has fared well against the Blues. For the most part the Avalanche as they stand now can match the Blues in size — there’s no reason not to use that to their advantage.

The Avalanche need to limit the Blues’ shots. Calvin Pickard and his 42 shots — the Avs are lucky the score wasn’t a blowout instead of an overtime loss.

Finally, they have to open up play in the offensive zone. Get those pucks on net.

Next: TBT: EJ's First Avs Goal

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