With their first game finishing in an underwhelming loss, the Colorado Avalanche look to get their first win in a rematch against the St. Louis Blues.
All the build up. All the articles crowning the Avs as future champions. The Colorado Avalanche left their first game having subverted expectations.
Unfortunately, they were the wrong ones.
When the Avs lost 4-1 against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, it was the ultimate down moment for every Avs fan. The hype on the offense — namely Nathan MacKinnon — and the defense — namely Cale Makar — was reduced to a single glimmer from Andre Burakovsky early in the first. The Blues would score four unanswered goals the rest of the game, including two Oskar Sundqvist tallies.
Of course, that’s not mentioning the fact that Devon Toews, another glimmer, would be speared by the shoulder of the Blues’ Sammy Blais, forcing the newly acquired defender off the ice for a large period of the game, and forcing Blais to miss the next two games.
Fortunately, the Avalanche get a mulligan. Going into game two, some thoughts to keep in mind:
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Ryan Graves and Ian Cole did not work. At all. Both defensemen looked genuinely lost, a fact I probably told at least five people. The Girard-Timmins pairing meanwhile would be on the ice for the lone goal, only to find themselves out of position for numerous.
- Philip Grubauer held down the fort for the first period, only to fall apart as the game kept going. It’s obviously the first game of the season, so Grubauer has time to prove himself worthy of backstopping the Avs, but Francouz has a shot to take the #1 spot if he gets the nod today.
- One of the Avalanche’s weak points last season, as seen in Game 7 against Dallas, is the inability to keep the puck in their zone, leading the other team to seize the opportunity and score. Guess what’s back? Most noticeable when the second line was on the ice, there needs to be a bigger effort to keep the puck in our zone.
- According to Mike Chambers, Burakovsky is moved to his natural right side with Kadri, hopefully to spark some offense. Having Landeskog back with MacKinnon and Rantanen certainly will bring out the offense the Avs are hoping for.
- The helmets. I’m still not sure how I feel about them, but as I noted a few days ago, we’ve changed them the first month of the season and won Cups so I’m not against a second time?
The Colorado Avalanche host the St. Louis Blues at Ball Arena today, January 15. The action starts at 7 PM MST. Altitude will show the game broadcast it on 92.5 FM, 950 AM.