The Colorado Avalanche answered some nagging questions with their victory over the San Jose Sharks. They need to keep answering those questions against the Blues.
The Colorado Avalanche shut out the San Jose Sharks with a score of 4-0. It was a glorious victory, but it wasn’t Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, so the Avs aren’t done yet.
Hopefully they know they aren’t done yet because they’re facing the actual current Cup champions today, the S. Louis Blues. This is a team they’ve struggles with recently. However, they’re playing St. Louis at home, and the Avs did beat the Blues 7-3 at Pepsi Center.
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Before the Sharks game, I proposed a series of questions I felt the Avs needed to answer in that game and in the remaining home stand games. Well, after today’s game, there’s just one more home game before the All Star break.
Will the Colorado Avalanche get quality goal tending?
They did indeed. Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves to record his first shutout of the season.
While it isn’t certain, the coaching staff said they were leaning toward playing Grubauer again this afternoon. No matter who plays in net, though, they need to have a solid performance.
Will the coaches continue to shuffle the lines around willy-nilly?
Yes, yes they will. J.T. Compher moved up to the third line while Matt Nieto moved down to the fourth.
Will they do so again today? Almost certainly. Hopefully it doesn’t cost them the game like it has sometimes in the past.
Will the Colorado Avalanche commit to defense?
They did against the Sharks, and that helped Grubauer with his victory. These aren’t the days of Semyon Varlamov, who was at his best when he faced 30+ shots. Grubauer literally complains when that happens to him.
The Blues play a similar heavy, defense-centered game to the Sharks. Only they’re better at it. So, Colorado will also have to commit to defense.
Will the penalty kill get back on track?
The Avs were on the penalty kill three times against the Sharks, and they suffocated all three San Jose power plays. They need that same magic today.
Will we see more secondary scoring?
In the game against San Jose, we saw Nathan MacKinnon held off the score sheet. That’s not ideal, but that does mean we saw non-top liners get those four goals. One was stud Cale Makar, but otherwise it was secondary scoring that won the day.
We’d all love to see MacKinnon get on the scoreboard today. But they need to keep using the depth players in their lineup.
Will the Colorado Avalanche be able to win in overtime?
Don’t let this game go to overtime. It’s a four-point game with St. Louis already 10 points ahead of the Avs in the standings. Colorado needs to bury this one in regulation.
How to Enjoy the Game
Game Time: Jan. 18, 1:00 pm MT
TV: ALT, ESPN+ (Blues’ feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (FM 92.5/AM 950)
This marks the fourth of five meetings between the Avalanche and Blues. The two teams will face each other for the final time on April 4 at Pepsi Center.