St. Louis Hoping for Anything but the Blues
The St. Louis Blues will be playing their biggest home game since the 2019 title run. The Blues erased Colorado’s home-ice advantage with a win in Game 2 only to give it right back as the Avalanche posted a 5-2 win on Saturday. Follow along right here for the best analysis and all the latest line movements as we take a look at Avalanche vs Blues Game Preview
What St. louis blues news has changed? If Colorado sweeps the first two games in St. Louis, that would put the Blues in the unenviable position of needing to beat Colorado three straight times including twice on the road to advance.
St. Louis is just ninth among 16 playoff teams with an average of 3.25 goals per game during the postseason. The Blues have not allowed a power-play goal at home in the playoffs.
One key to the Avalanche vs Blues game preview is that Colorado is averaging the most goals (4.29) on the road in the postseason and the 36.4 percent success rate on the road is also leading all teams in the playoffs.
Avalanche vs Blues Game Information
- Date: Monday, 7:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO
- Television: TNT
Lehkonen Makes Presence felt for Avs
Artturi Lehkonen was an under-the-radar pickup at the trading deadline, although the price wasn’t cheap to acquire the 26-year-old winger. Colorado sent 2020 first-round pick Justin Barron and a future No. 2 pick to get Lehkonen. Lehkonen had six goals in 16 games for Colorado with the Avalanche going 4-2-1 during the regular season when he had at least one point.
Lehkonen had two points in back-to-back wins against Los Angeles and New Jersey in mid April but his greatest contribution came when he scored twice in the Game 3 win over St. Louis. Lehkonen had no points and one shot on goal in the first two games of the season, and put five shots on goal in Saturday’s victory.
It was not the first time he came through in the postseason. While Lehkonen only scored three goals during 17 games as the Montreal Canadiens made a surprising run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final – one of those games was in overtime in Game 6 against the favored Vegas Golden Knights as Montreal advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. Three of Lehkonen’s eight games since joining the Avalanche have been scored against St. Louis.
Lehkonen is one of the role players for Colorado to contribute offensively during the series. Valeri Nichushkin, Logan O’Connor and Lehkonen have combined for four goals and 15 shots on goal in the series.
The Colorado Avalanche odds list Colorado (+175) as the overwhelming favorite to win the Stanley Cup title. St. Louis comes in at +3300. In the odds to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Final, Colorado’s odds moved from -155 to -165 after the Game 3 win while the odds for the Blues fell from +750 to +1400 after Game 3.
Binnington’s Loss Puts Pressure on Underachieving St. Louis Forwards
The St. Louis Blues would likely still be searching for the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship if not for the remarkable run that rookie goalie Jordan Binnington embarked on during the 2019 playoffs.
Binnington had some struggles this season and was replaced by Ville Husso as the No. 1 goalie in St. Louis. When Husso struggled during the series against Minnesota, Binnington went back between the pipes. His play was reminiscent of what he did three years ago, however, Binnington’s postseason ended when he collided with Colorado forward Nazem Kadri in Game 3.
There was a bit of the war of words even before it was announced that Binnington, who leads the NHL with a 1.72 goals-against average during the playoffs, would be out for the rest of the series.
“Look at Kadri’s reputation, that’s all I have to say,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said following Game 3.
Colorado coach Jared Bednar said Kadri’s past record that included suspensions in the postseason had nothing to do with the play when Kadri and St. Louis defenseman Calle Rosen, both crashed into the St. Louis goalie.
Ville Husso started the playoffs as the No. 1 goalie for the Blues. He was replaced by Binnington after giving up nine goals in a two-game stretch in the series against Minnesota In Husso’s last three games. Husso has a 4.55 goals-against average and .841 save percentage in his last three games.
Without their best goalie, there will be more pressure on some struggling St. Louis forwards to get going in the series.
Ryan O’Reilly has been one of the best players on the ice in the first three games of the series against Colorado with two goals, two assists and a team-high 12 shots on goal. David Perron and Jordan Kyrou have two goals each but many of the other best offensive players for the Blues have struggled to contribute.
Pavel Buchnevich, Brayden Schenn, Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev and Robert Thomas combined for 134 goals during the regular season. They have yet to score in the series, although they do have six assists.
The Blues had more shots, more hits and won more faceoffs than the Avalanche in Game 3 but it was Colorado which emerged with a 5-2 win. The only statistic that matters is the score and it will be important for the Blues to capitalize when they have scoring chances.
Avalanche vs Blues Betting Preview
Colorado has won seven of the last eight games against St. Louis including a four-game sweep in the 2021 playoffs. The Avalanche have won their last four postseason games on the road against the Blues outscoring St. Louis 18-8.
Colorado has won the last five postseason games against St. Louis featuring at least six combined goals. St. Louis has scored first in all three games in the series.
The biggest news for the St. Louis Blues is the loss of Binnington for the rest of the series. Binnington leads all goalies with a 1.72 goals-against average in the playoffs.
St. Louis is still waiting for the return of defensemen Torey Krug and Marco Scandella. Scandella has a chance to be back for Game 4 while it is looking unlikely that Krug will be available for this series.
Colorado will also be short handed on defense. Samuel Girard suffered a fractured sternum in the Game 3 win and will miss the rest of the series.
St. Louis outshot Colorado 63-58 in the last two games and is +19 in faceoffs after Colorado dominated in both categories in the opening game of the series. This one will be fun, be sure to check out every Avalanche vs Blues Game Preview.Follow us on Twitter